Paul Gready on civil society in Rwanda:
“One could conclude, with Filip Reyntjens, that ‘”civil society'” is controlled by the regime’. However, this is too sweeping; there remain occasional spaces – created by electoral politics, progressive development initiatives, and the dependence of the government on other actors – that need to be identified and exploited by donors and civil society. As noted earlier, the problem is that the spaces are ad hoc and personalized, rather than based on institutional relationships between society and the state in which individuals and groups can demand access to rights as citizens.”
In his article, “You’re either with us or against us: Civil Society and policy making in post-genocide Rwanda,” Paul Gready, Director of the Centre for Applied Human Rights at York University, provides a counter to the emerging academic mainstream on Rwandan politics that focuses on autocracy and oppression within the country. Check his article out.