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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Between citizenship and clientship: the politics of participatory governance in Malawi
Author:Gaynor, NiamhISNI
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies (ISSN 1465-3893)
Geographic term:Malawi
Subjects:political participation
civil society
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03057070.2010.527637
Abstract:In the twenty years since the post-Cold War wave of democratization spread across Africa, experiments in participatory governance have revealed fundamental contradictions between their normative bases and their practical application on the ground. Responding to calls for a greater focus on 'the politics of everyday life' and drawing on the experiences and actions, over a six-year period, of the principal civic network, the Malawi Economic Justice Network, in the country's PRS (Poverty Reduction Strategy) process, this article illustrates how contemporary Malawian politics at the local level comprises a complex mix of the old and the new. Charting the evolving agency and activities of network members at district level, the article demonstrates how, in the ongoing struggles for resources for everyday life, normative discourses of participation and representation are combined with more traditional cultures and practices in shaping, moulding and, ultimately, it is proposed, invigorating contemporary political agency in Malawi, bringing politics out of the State and into the public domain in line with the communitarian traditions of citizenship. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]