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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Revolutionising local politics? Radical experiments in Burkina Faso, Ghana and Uganda in the 1980s
Author:Dickovick, J. TylerISNI
Year:2009
Periodical:Review of African Political Economy
Volume:36
Issue:122
Pages:519-537
Language:English
Geographic terms:Burkina Faso
Ghana
Uganda
Subjects:political change
decentralization
local government reform
traditional rulers
State-society relationship
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03056240903346137
Abstract:This article compares three African countries whose attempts to transform local governance in the 1980s were among the most dramatic, particularly in rural areas: Burkina Faso under Thomas Sankara (1983-1987), Ghana in the early years of the Jerry Rawlings presidency (1981-1992), and Uganda under Yoweri Museveni (1985-present). Despite surface similarities, especially in the establishment of local 'people's defence councils' or 'resistance councils', the three experiments had quite different outcomes, as a function both of antecedent conditions in State-society relations and of regimes' choices. A structured comparative-historical argument highlights differing State strategies vis--vis important social forces, especially traditional chiefs. Regimes' choices between confrontation, coexistence, and the construction of new relations with social forces resulted in different degrees of local political change. The 'revolutionary' local experiments provide insight into a general theory of African politics, in which States' transformational powers in rural areas remain circumscribed by entrenched local forces. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]
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