This paper consolidates and synthesises the insights from an international research project that has investigated citizen participation and the deepening of democratic processes in the southern countries, including the IBSA countries. The aim of this synthesis paper is to revisit the research findings from this project to explore the interaction between mobilisation and the state as they continue to respond, influence and reconstitute each other in the three formal democracies under study in India, Brazil and South Africa. In drawing attention to this feature we expect to shed light on the trajectories and mechanisms of state-society engagement that may strengthen democracy (or democracies) in order to make it more capable of overcoming the historic inequalities that are so pronounced in these three states. The central question the paper addresses is: In what circumstances is citizen mobilisation for claiming rights and entitlements addressed, responded to and dealt with by the three different types of democratic states in ways that deepen democracy?
Mohanty, R.; Thompson, L.; and Coelho, V. S. (Editors). States of mobilisation? A comparison of modes of interaction between states and social actors in India, Brazil and South Africa. African Centre for Citizenship and Democracy, Cape Town, South Africa (2010) 145 pp. ISBN 978-1-86808-711-2