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Rebellious civil society and democratic consolidation in Lesotho

Moeketsi Kali ()
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Moeketsi Kali: Pan African University

Journal of Social and Economic Development, 2022, vol. 24, issue 2, No 16, 565-577

Abstract: Abstract Civil society's efforts to push democratic transitions and deepen democracy are influenced by the political context in which they operate. This study examined the role of civil society in consolidating democracy in Lesotho. Specifically, it explored the tactics employed by the unions to defend human rights and deepen democratic practices. The author conducted a face-to-face interview with the key informants and used content analysis to understand the mechanisms used by the unions to bargain and defend the interests of their members. This study established that unions in Lesotho play a significant role in consolidating democracy through diverse activities such as advocacy, aggregation of interests and checks and balances. However, their civility and cooperative habits are undermined by the irresponsive government of Lesotho. Hence, they resort to social protests in most cases for the government to respond. Though protests seem effective when offsetting the injustices and violation of people’s rights, they open up a Pandora’s Box since they lead to loss of life in Lesotho. The security forces in the country often unleash disproportionate force and kill some protesters. Hence, efforts to consolidate democracy are largely undermined by police and army brutality.

Keywords: Civil society; Unions; Democratic consolidation; Structural functionalism; Protests (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1007/s40847-022-00189-x

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