A3 Book section, Chapters in research books
Negotiating CSO Legitimacy in Tanzanian Civic Space (2023)

Kontinen, T., & Nguyahambi, A. M. (2023). Negotiating CSO Legitimacy in Tanzanian Civic Space. In K. Biekart, T. Kontinen, & M. Millstein (Eds.), Civil Society Responses to Changing Civic Spaces (pp. 121-144). Palgrave Macmillan. EADI Global Development Series. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-23305-0_6

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Kontinen, Tiina; Nguyahambi, Ajali M.

Parent publication: Civil Society Responses to Changing Civic Spaces

Parent publication editors: Biekart, Kees; Kontinen, Tiina; Millstein, Marianne

ISBN: 978-3-031-23304-3

eISBN: 978-3-031-23305-0

Journal or series: EADI Global Development Series

ISSN: 2947-8529

eISSN: 2947-8537

Publication year: 2023

Publication date: 25/05/2023

Pages range: 121-144

Number of pages in the book: 293

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Place of Publication: Cham

Publication country: Switzerland

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-23305-0_6

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/87374


This chapter argues that civil society organizations (CSOs) engage in continuous legitimacy negotiations that both shape and are shaped by civic space. It focuses on President John Magufuli’s term in Tanzania, which was labelled as an authoritarian turn characterized by shrinking civic space. The chapter employs broad definitions: of civic space as an arena for action by formal CSOs as well as groups and individuals; of legitimacy as a continuous negotiation of appropriateness; and of democracy as a dynamic form of governance with different manifestations. Drawing on interviews with both professional urban NGOs and rural self-help groups, the chapter investigates restrictions experienced by CSOs, analyses the central themes negotiation over CSO legitimacy, and reflects on these vis-á-vis the evolution of democracy in Tanzania over time.

Keywords: civil society; civic activism; non-governmental organisations; legitimacy; political change; democracy; authoritarianism

Free keywords: Tanzania

Contributing organizations

Related projects

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2023

Preliminary JUFO rating: 3

Last updated on 2023-03-10 at 14:32