Abstract

The core trajectory of this essay is to explore further the transformative power of civil society as advanced in by neo-Gramscian scholars by looking closely at how platform civil society groups organized in transnational networks politicized the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiation process between the EU and West Africa. The paper argued that platform groups politicized the EPA negotiation process by drawing attention to the potential development implications of concluding EPA with the EU for West Africa in particular and African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) regions in general. Two questions are raised in the paper, the first of which addressed why platform civil society groups in West Africa contested the EPA. The second question engaged with how platform groups organized and mobilized action across national borders and regional divide for this purpose. The paper argued that platform groups in West Africa became resistant to EPA and organized mainly to block its ratification because EPAs are generally perceived to have a neoliberal undertone that potentially challenges African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries’ prospects for socioeconomic development. This counter-hegemony posture is an expression of the agency that challenged mainstream development view of civil society as an agent of neoliberal development. Although platform groups were unable to stop the conclusion of EPA between EU and West Africa, they nevertheless succeeded at bringing the EPA debate to public discourse for the first time to score what could be termed the most important achievement of the civil society in the negotiation of EPAs between EU and ACP regions

How to Cite
IBUKUN DAVID, David,. Civil Society in Development: How Platform Groups Politicized EPA Negotiation between EU and West Africa. Global Journal of Human-Social Science Research, [S.l.], june 2019. ISSN 2249-460X. Available at: <https://socialscienceresearch.org/index.php/GJHSS/article/view/2857>. Date accessed: 12 nov. 2019.