1st Edition

The Politics of Governance Actors and Articulations in Africa and Beyond

Edited By Lucy Koechlin, Till Förster Copyright 2015
    226 Pages
    by Routledge

    238 Pages
    by Routledge

    How do government arrangements emerge? When and how does individual agency turn into collective agency? How do sensory experiences of violence, instability, etc affect the configuration of governance arrangements? When, why, and how are governance arrangements institutionalized?

    This book seeks to contribute to a non-normative conceptualization of the emergence and transformation of government arrangements, and addresses the under-theorization of actors and agency in conventional governance theories. The editors and contributors theorize the concept of governance more concretely by analyzing the key actors and arrangements that define states of governance across different places and by examining its performance and development in particular settings and time periods. Each contribution to the edited volume is based on a case-study drawn from Africa, though the book argues that the core issues identified remain the same across the world, though in different empirical contexts. The contributions also range across key disciplines, from anthropology to sociology to political science.

    This ground-breaking volume addresses governance arrangements, discusses how social actors form such arrangements, and concludes by synthesizing an actor-centered understanding of political articulation to a general theory of governance. Scholars across disciplines such as political science, development studies, African studies, and sociology will find the book insightful.

    Introduction – The Conceptual Polysemy of Governance Lucy Koechlin Part I: Spaces and Struggles 1. Transformation and Struggle: Space in Africa Michael G. Schatzberg 2. Agency Across Changing Sites: The Path to Kenya's 2010 Constitution Nelson Kasfir Part II: Everyday Practices 3. Abandoning the Neo-Patrimonialist Paradigm: For a Pluralist Approach to the Bureaucratic Mode of Governance in Africa Jean-Pierre Olivier de Sardan 4. Between Governance and Domination: The Everyday Life of Uganda's Police Forces Sarah Biecker and Klaus Schlichte Part III: Emergence and Transformation 5. The Social Agency of Informal Settlers: A Case-Study of "Moonlight Houses" in Addis Ababa Alemmaya Mulugeta 6. Slow Activism and the Tactics of Legibility: A Case Study of the 2011 "Toilet Wars" and the Social Justice Coalition Steven Robins Part IV: Subjectivities and Articulations 7. Experiences of Violence and the Formation of the Political: Embodied Memory and Victimhood in South Africa Rita Kesselring 8. Imagining Otherwise: Dislocation, Subjectivity, and the Articulation of Political Demands Aletta Norval Part V: Conclusions 9. The Formation of Governance: The Politics of Governance and their Theoretical Dimensions Till Förster


    Till Förster is Chair of Social Anthropology at the University of Basel, Switzerland. He was a development expert and later associate professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Cologne until 1996. He led the Africa Centre of the University of Bayreuth between 1996 and 2001 where he also co-directed a research axis of the interdisciplinary research programme on the causes and effects of globalisation in Africa. Till Förster has worked continually on questions of social, cultural and political transformations in Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon and in other parts of Africa and has a long publishing record on this and related themes.

    Lucy Koechlin is Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Social Anthropology, University of Basel, Switzerland. She works mainly on governance, political struggles, democratic spaces and urban politics in Eastern Africa. Until 2009 she was Head of Public Accountability at the Basel Institute of Governance, responsible for research and consultancies in the area of anti-corruption and accountability systems. Her publications include Corruption as an Empty Signifier: Politics and Political Order in Africa (Brill, 2013) and Non-state Actors as Standard Setters (ed. with Peters, A. et al., Cambridge University Press, 2009). She is also co-editor of the Basel Papers on Political Transformations.