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Reimagining civil society collaborations in development 
Margit van Wessel (Wageningen University)
Tiina Kontinen (University of Jyväskylä)
Kibui Edwin Rwigi (University of Manchester)
Njeri Kimotho
Lena Gutheil (German Institute of Development and Sustainability)
Send message to Convenors
Ibrahim Natil (Institute for International Conflict Resolution (IICRR) at DCU)
Emanuela Girei (Liverpool John Moores University)
Politics and political economy
Palmer G.05
Wednesday 28 June, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

A roundtable involving editors, authors and a discussant of our new book that explores ways in which civil society collaborations in development can be grounded in new imaginings, moving beyond the limits of current debates on power in civil society collaborations that centre on the aid system.

Long Abstract:

While there is much discussion of localization, decolonization and 'shifting power' in civil society collaborations in development, the debate thus far centers on reforming the aid system. A new book, brought out by Routledge early 2023, titled 'Reimagining civil society collaborations in development. Starting from the South' explores different ways in which civil society collaborations in development can be grounded in new imaginings.

It directs attention to CSOs as drivers of development in various contexts that we refer to as the Global South. The book take a transformative stance, reimagining roles, relations and processes. It does so from five complementary angles: 1) Southern CSOs reclaiming the lead, 2) displacement of the North-South dyad, 3) Southern-centred questions, 4) new roles for Northern actors, and 5) new starting points for collaboration. The book relativizes international collaboration, asking INGOs, Northern CSOs, and their donors to follow Southern CSOs' leads, recognizing their contextually geared perspectives, agendas, resources, capacities, and ways of working. Based in 19 empirically grounded chapters, the book also offers an agenda for further research, design, and experimentation.

Emphasizing the need to 'Start from the South' this book thus re-imagines and re-centers Civil Society collaborations in development, offering Southern-centred ways of understanding and developing relations, roles, and processes, in theory and practice.

This roundtable brings together editors and authors of the book, as well as a discussant, to discuss, in interaction with the audience, the main insights and implications of the book. What's new here? How can these reimaginings make a difference? How to move forward?