The Governance of Daily Life in Africa

Ethnographic Explorations of Public and Collective Services

Anchored in an empirically-grounded anthropology, this book explores the notion of governance in a non-normative way. It describes and analyses the institutional and political processes through which social actors and groups - be they state, private or 'third-sector' - contribute to the provision of public and collective goods or services. The book draws on case studies from Anglophone and Francophone Africa, crossing anthropological traditions that have too often evolved in parallel directions and dealing with a range of topics such as health, water supply, sanitation and waste management, security, humanitarian aid, land issues and decentralisation. Beyond African boundaries, it contributes to current debates about governmentality, public policy, subject making, public/private boundaries, and the role of the state.

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Giorgio Blundo, PhD (1998) in Anthropology and Sociology, University of Lausanne, is Associate Professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS). He has published extensively on local politics, bureaucracies, decentralisation and corruption in West Africa, including Everyday Corruption and The State. Citizens and Public Officials in Africa. (with J.P. Olivier de Sardan, Zed Books, 2006). Pierre-Yves Le Meur, PhD (1992), Anthropologist, Senior Researcher at the Institute for Development Research (IRD), has published extensively on politics, development and land tenure in West Africa including Gouverner les hommes et les ressources (with Jacob & Chauveau, 2004).
Review in: African Studies Review Vol. 53, no. 1.

‘Resulting from a conference held in Leiden in 2002, this book presents a collection of thirteen contributions on the provision of public and collective services in Africa. Based on ethnographic fieldwork, these deal with topics as diverse as politics in refugee camps in Senegal, waste management in Ghana, drinking-water supply in Niger, and health services in Tanzania…. The aim of the book is to study how public and collective services are delivered in Africa. For all social scientists interested in this new field of research, it is definitely essential reading’.
The potential audience for this book are anthropologists, social and political scientists, development practitioners and decision-makers, post-graduate students in the fields of social and political sciences, African and development studies.