Research in localities in India, Cuba, Ethiopia, Taiwan and Lebanon is used to develop a broader understanding of global political phenomena such as democracy, representation and accountability.
To contextualise aspects of 'good' governance the articles in the volume deal with people's perceptions of and interactions with the state; how they interpret government laws and regulations; how they interact with officials and how they comment on acts and speeches made by local bureaucrats and national power holders. Through a discussion of the much debated distinction between private and public, the articles show how the notions of public and private are interconnected in many ways, how they are contested and reformulated by people based on their experiences, and how they can be used as a tool in questioning dominant ideas and ways of executing 'good' governance.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements 1. Introduction: People, Power and Public Spaces 2. From Avoidance to Alliance: Hunter-Gatherers, Non-Governmental Organisations and State Relation in Tamil Nadu, South India 3. Sounds of Silence: Uncertainty, Language and Politics in the Cuban Economic Crisis 4. Learning Political Behaviour: Peasant-State Relations in Ethiopia 5. In Touch with Politics: Three Individuals in the Midst of the Dalit Movement 6. The Republic of China at a Crossroads? Processes of Democracy and Ethnic Identity on the Island of Taiwan 7. The Illicit Daughter: Hindi-Language Newspapers and the Regionalisation of the Public Sphere in India 8. Public Space Inside Out: Beirut's Private and Public Spaces Under Reconstruction Index
Eva Poluha is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University and has spent over 30 years researching peasant-state relations, democracy, gender, ethnicity and political change in Europe. Mona Rosendahl is Associate Professor affiliated to the Department of Social Anthropology and the Institute of Latin American Studies, Stockholm University.
'Contesting 'good' Governance is an interesting collection of papers exploring local concepts of political process that is misdirected as a critique of notions of governance in current debates in international development.' - Social Anthropology
'The volume will be of interest to political anthropologists concerned with issues of the public sphere, governance, democracy, and so on. It should also be useful for teaching, since most of the chapters are written in an accessible style and include useful summaries of various debates in political anthropology.' - The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute