The State and Civil Society in Nigeria : Towards a Partnership for Sustainable Development

In Chapter one, the work is introduced by highlighting issues of current popularity in civil society in the development discourse of developing countries following the prolonged crises of the state, governance and development, and economic decline since the 1980s and whether this embrace can lead to the construction of new development models beyond the recently popular public –private partnerships, that includes state-civil society partnerships. In chapter two, attention is given to conceptions of the state, civil society and sustainable development that are inclusive of essential characteristics. Contemporary theoretical issues are raised pertaining to the role, boundaries and nature of relations between the state and civil society. Chapter three relates the post colonial state and civil society to the challenge of development. The weaknessess are discussed of the state in conceptualizing and driving sustainable development and the roles that civil society can play in the facilitation of sustainable development. Chapter four, focused on the state and civil society in Nigeria. The development, roles, strategies, methodologies and challenges of civil society in Nigeria is traced as well as the nature of relations between the Nigerian governments and civil society. Chapter five addresses the need for partnerships, the social bases, platforms and methodologies that such partnerships can take or have taken, the types of existing partnerships and the sites in which they have taken place or could take place are identified. Further, the benefits and challenges of partnerships are identified.