Volunteering, Civic Agency, and Citizenship in Africa
The resurgence of faith in volunteerism as a vehicle for civic renewal rests on a set of assumptions about the nature of volunteerism, and its relation to civil society, citizenship, and social integration. This chapter takes issue with these assumptions. Among other things, it highlights the danger of framing ‘public’ ‘service’ provision and delivery as a problem of inadequate volunteering, thus more or less absolving the state of any responsibility. Furthermore, and because volunteerism is more often than not a function of a volunteer’s sense of ‘belonging’ within a particular civic community, the paper urges an approach to volunteerism that takes it as an act of social citizenship, one that is best ‘performed’ after the state has discharged its duties toward society.
KeywordsCivil Society Civic Engagement African State Southern African Development Community African National Congress
- Badru, R. O. (2011). The ontology of political decisionism, negative statecraft, and the Nigerian state: Exploring moral altruism in politics. TELOS, 156.Google Scholar
- Cornwall, A., Robbins, S., & von Lieres, B. (2011). States of citizenship: Contexts and cultures of public engagement and citizen action. Institute of Development Studies, Sussex, England.Google Scholar
- De Benoist, A. (2011). The current crisis of democracy. TELOS, 156.Google Scholar
- Human Science Research Council [HSRC]. (2005). Young people in South Africa in 2005: Where we are at and where we are going (pp. 1–44). Pretoria: HSRC Press.Google Scholar
- Leighninger, M. (2004). The seven deadly citizens: Moving from civic stereotypes to well-rounded citizenship. Good Society, 13(2).Google Scholar
- Obadare, E. (2007). The effects of national service in Africa, with a focus on Nigeria. In A. M. McBride & M. Sherraden (Eds.), Civic service worldwide: Impacts and inquiry (pp. 35–59). Armonk: M.E. Sharpe.Google Scholar
- Obadare, E. (2010). Statism, youth and civic imagination: A critical study of the national youth service corps programme in Nigeria. Dakar: CODESRIA.Google Scholar
- Perold, H. (2006). Volunteering as a strategy to foster civic participation among youth in southern Africa. Presentation made to XIX IAVE World Volunteer Conference on Volunteering for Peace in Multicultural Societies, Delhi, India.Google Scholar
- Perold, H., & Cronin, K. (2008). Volunteering for social activism: Pathways to participation in human development. Report for CIVICUS/IAVE/UNV.Google Scholar
- Statistics South Africa [SSA]. (in press). Available from http://www.statssa.gov.za/.
- Stratton, A. (2011). David Cameron on riots: Broken society is top of my political agenda. The Telegraph. London.Google Scholar