In many countries, civil society organisations (CSOs) are operating in a closing civic space (e.g. Carothers and Brechenmacher, 2014; Hossain et al., 2018; CIVICUS, 2019a). In response to the increasing restrictions on civic space across the world, there has been a surge in new forms of civic activism and social movements (SMs) that are different from traditional social justice organisations (TSJOs) especially in terms of their flexible organisational structure, membership structures and ability to work on multiple and diverse local problems with emerging technologies (Zihnioglu, 2019:289). Despite the increasing emphasis on the significance of cross-sector partnership in opening up civic space in restrictive environments (see, for example, Glasius and Ishkanian, 2015; Youngs, 2017; Silberman, 2020), the experiences and nature of collaboration between traditional social justice organisations, social movements and social activists, the challenges and enabling factors associated with such collaborations remain poorly understood, with little or no empirical studies on the topic.
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