Forces of Development: Globalisation, Civil Societies, and NGOs in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Narratives

Nfon Rita Gola


This paper looks at globalization, civil societies and their extensions, NGOs, as forces of development within the contemporary global era through the prism of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun, The Thing Around Your Neck and Americanah. In these texts, the above forces have eroded both ideological and geopolitical boundaries for the betterment of humanity. The centrality of the state, with regards to state development, has been questioned by civil society activism. Civil society agencies, especially, NGOs, the paper posits, have become players in governance−an activity generally reserved for the state. The paper views the flux in state and civil society borders as a part of the shifts in the borders of most of the once outstanding binary pairs−the west and the non-west, the whites and the blacks, as well as the rich and the poor. These are positive shifts that are integral to the present mix in which humanity now exists. The works I analyze market this blend in that Adichie’s characters, no matter where they find themselves, move away from fixed ways of doing things and get connected with the supposed others for humanistic purposes. Globalization theory is used to underline the extent to which the ‘self’ and ‘other’ concepts disappear when it comes to development issues in the postcolony. The paper seeks to answer two basic questions, namely; is the proliferation of civil societies, especially NGOs, the result of the globalization phenomenon or the cause of the globalization process? How has globalization, civil societies and NGOs developed Nigeria, in particular, and Africa in general? It premises the civil society as a trajectory of the globalisation process with a positive outcome from the perspective that its various forms have encouraged and facilitated the spread of humanitarian considerations for the purpose of development.


NGO, Civil Society, Development, Narratives, Globalisation, Interrelations

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