Jamaica's rather fascinating penchant for civil strife, manifested primarily in fiery public demonstrations and blocked roads and punctuated by a reverberating cry for 'justice', is deeply entrenched in a culture that spans more than three centuries.
More often than not, in the absence of in-depth knowledge of the history of this curious phenomenon, the impression can easily be formed that popular public protests that have dominated Jamaica's socio-economic sphere are a knee-jerk reaction that is executed meaninglessly, for the most part, in public space.
But for Dr Hume Johnson, there is much more to this phenomenon that warrants exploring.
Johnson has presented with remarkable clarity, an intriguing perspective on the issue of protests and governance in Jamaica that has coloured its history for centuries.
The author's well-researched work is most timely and appropriate as it coincides with the significant milestone of Jamaica 50th anniversary of Jamaica's attainment of Independence, which is inextricably linked to the absorbing proclivity of a people to take to the streets to unleash their fury at the drop of a hat.
Johnson has also brought to the table a unique brand of vibrancy to the unending and impassioned debates on the issue of civil disobedience and ushers to the fore the enduring need to place this volatile issue in proper perspective.
She prefaces her extensive work with an engrossing backdrop of the ever-changing world in which Jamaica and its government need to come to terms with in the current socio-political dispensation.
Johnson's insight on the range of protests which have emerged across the globe, many in far more developed countries than Jamaica, attended by their myriad styles and focuses in response to a curiously common objective - self empowerment - is worthy of note.
In her opening chapter, Johnson sought to place in historical and cultural perspectives, the significant inter-linkages between Jamaica's political systems at the highest level and the function of the citizenry in governance.
That Jamaica crawled out of slavery in the aftermath of a variety of civil protests then trudged inexorably through the challenging and volatile post-emancipation and post-colonial periods; marching no less demonstratively and protesting into adult suffrage, Independence and beyond, speaks eloquently to the necessity of Johnson's work.
Johnson has, quite fittingly, sought to reconcile the concept of civil society with the path pursued by, not only Jamaica but a host of other countries, and in so doing has succeeded in assessing the failures, flaws and missteps that have led to incivility at varying levels throughout the years.
She has skilfully interwoven the local context into the equation and has examined the role of the church and other civic organisations and human rights lobby groups in a culture whose precariousness, explosiveness and impulsiveness is tenuous at the best of times.
The author has crafted well into her work, the intricacies and complexities of state administration and the politics of the times into the intriguing network grid that is Jamaica's social culture.
Challenges to Civil Society is an eminently useful, timely and easily absorbed piece of well-researched, work on a burning issue that should be well utilised by not only academics, but by operatives in civil society as well as the political movement.