ABSTRACT

This chapter argues that civil society can play a role not only in facilitiating state-building, but also as a site of resistance to it. Civil society's character as a heterogeneous and ambiguous arena does not make it straightforwardly a partner for state-building and reconstruction. The chapter analyses three concrete strategies of resistance that are undertaken or assisted by civil society organisations, networks based on proximity and kin. The chapter starts with a discussion of the concept of resistance and civil society, followed by an analysis of resistance through discursive, violent and survival strategies. These are three prominent areas that interact with current state building strategies and that provide an insightful standpoint from which to observe civil society's role as a site for resistance. The chapter proposes that it is in the ambiguities and even through the same channels power operates, that resistance is found.