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Challenges to Civil Society: Popular Protest & Governance in Jamaica By Hume Johnson ...

Chapter 1:  Jamaican Governance and Citizen Politics in Context
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Challenges to Civil Society:

Chapter 1

Jamaican Governance and Citizen Politics in Context

“Challenging power is crucial to the stability of democracy; without dissent there would be few checks on unbridled power” (Barker, 2006, p. 1). Yet, in an intriguing assessment of the quality of Jamaican democracy at the end of the 20th century, Munroe (1999) contended that the competing forces of “deepening democracy and anarchic disorder” (p. ix) are struggling for dominance in Jamaica and in one form or another in many countries across the world. In Jamaica, he declared that

the race is advanced, and it is neck and neck…. Democratic renewal can and must win; otherwise the man in the street is going to turn to his own devices. If democratic renewal is slow and is overtaken by anarchy, sooner or later, there will be a backlash to authoritarianism. (p. ix)

This quotation goes to the heart of this book, which explores the character of citizen politics, civil society, and governance in Jamaica.