Civil Society Participation in Urban Development in Countries of the South: The Case of Syria

Sacha Hasan*, Christopher McWilliams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper seeks to recognize the importance of understanding the current formal and informal regulatory frameworks that shape the process of land-use decision-making in the countries of the South in order to facilitate civil society participation. The case of Syria is examined, where analysis was conducted to identify the key social actors and the forms of relationships between them. To understand and identify the position of civil society in the process of land-use decision-making and examine the possibilities to increase its effect within the examined urban development governance was a key objective. In addition, the need to recognize the capacity needs of social actors and the necessity to develop context-based legal frameworks for civil society organizations that recognize both the formal and the informal structures of civil society were vital. This, however, requires an understanding of the socially accepted frameworks that shape the informal relations between society actors and also analysing the possibility of institutionalizing these relations. Delivering the latter will make it possible to create a contextually grounded legal framework that regulates the process of civil society participation as a requirement for land-use decision-making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-250
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Planning Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development


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