176 pages | 9 B/W Illus.
This book argues that the way in which we use the concept of "state" in many African countries must involve a deeper engagement of the complex workings of state-society relations, rather than a master narrative of European state formation.
Dimensions of African Statehood explores the concept of "statehood" as a set of daily practices that govern and generate effects through the voices of those performing and living the state. The book is based on extensive, first-hand research on the delivery of and access to public goods as expressions of statehood in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. A public good, a field long dominated by economic models, can be seen as a power relation rather than a universal, positive good. By unpacking the meaning of "whose public", the book offers an avenue for a dynamic and multi-layered understanding of practices that express and shape statehood. The assessment of statehood as presented in this book is an invitation to contribute to the new era of what statehood entails in regions different from the Global North.
This book will be of interest to scholars and students of politics, African studies, and governance.
2. Conceptual Framework: Dimensions of Statehood
3. Introducing Bukavu
4. Managing Waste: "The Political class does not take care of garbage here"
5. "We need to live but the leaders are killing us": Water and Hydroelectricity
6. State Persistence: Perspectives from the Roads
7. Governance, Citizenship and the Dimensions of Statehood