Civil society and the political economy of foreign aid in Uganda

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Democratization, Volume 4, Issue 2 (1997)



civil society, foreign aid, political economy, Prof. JOloka, Uganda


<p style="text-align: justify;">The interface between the extension of foreign political aid, the growth of civil society and political and economic development in Uganda presents interesting dilemmas in terms of theory and praxis. This article examines the phenomenal expansion of civil society activity in Uganda ‐ barely a decade ago considered the &lsquo;sick man&rsquo; of Africa. It argues that while such a development is welcome, it must be considered in particular against the backdrop of open political activity crystallized in the operation of President <span data-scayt_word="Yoweri" data-scaytid="9">Yoweri</span> <span data-scayt_word="Museveni's" data-scaytid="10">Museveni&#39;s</span> <span data-scayt_word="‘no‐party’" data-scaytid="11">&lsquo;no‐party&rsquo;</span> National Resistance Movement (<span data-scayt_word="NRM" data-scaytid="12">NRM</span>) government. The implications of the considerable support extended by the foreign donor community to an experiment with questionable democratic content are examined, along with the nature and character of sectors of civil society and the relationship (particularly in the context of a country like Uganda) of civil society to political society.</p>