This book is about how ordinary citizens and their organizations mobilize to deepen democracy. A collection of new empirical case studies from Angola, Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa illustrate how alternative forms of political mobilization -- such as protests, social participation, activism, litigation and lobbying -- engage with the formal institutions of representative democracy in ways that constitute the very essence of democratic politics and not, as many authors suggest, an indication of its failure. No other volume has brought together examples from such a broad Southern spectrum and covering such a diversity of actors: rural and urban dwellers, transnational activists, religious groups, politicians and social leaders. The cases illuminate the crucial contribution that citizen mobilization makes to democratization and the building of state institutions. Yet neither are these movements driven purely by idealism. They cases also reflect often the uneasy relationship between citizens and the institutions that are designed to foster their political participation. This book suggest ways to confront these challenges by recognizing -- as so many ordinary citizens already have -- that more just and equitable democratic systems can only emerge from more just and equitable societies.