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Book Book Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:States at work: dynamics of African bureaucracies
Editor:Bierschenk, ThomasISNI
Series:Africa-Europe Group for Interdisciplinary Studies (AEGIS) (ISSN 1574-6925)
City of publisher:Leiden
ISBN:9789004264786; 9789004264960
Geographic term:Africa
administrative reform
civil service
civil servants
External link:https://www.asclibrary.nl/docs/410749966-001.pdf
Abstract:This collective volume explores the mundane practices of State-making in Africa by focussing on the daily functioning of public services and the practices of civil servants. Adopting mainly an ethnographic approach as a basis for theorizing, the authors deal with topics including: bureaucratic cultures and practical norms, operational routines in offices, career patterns and modes of appointment; how bureaucrats themselves perceive and deliver goods and services and interact with service users; the accumulation of public administration reforms and how the different bureaucratic corps react to the 'good governance' discourse and new public management politcies; the consequences of these reforms for the daily working of State bureaucracies and for the civil servants' identities and modes of accountability; and the space that exists for bottom-up micro-reforms that build on local innovations or informal arrangements. Two introductory chapters by the editors are followed by case studies focussing on Senegal's Forestry Services (Giorgo Blundo), a Nigerian university (Chriss Willott), the public sectors of Tanzania and Uganda (Ole Therkildsen), Tanzania's civil service from the 1950s to the 1970s (Andreas Eckert), district courts in Niger (Oumarou Hamani), public services in Ghana (Carola Lentz), (West-)African public services (Thomas Bierschenk), the Ministry of Basic Education in Cameroon (Hélène Charton), the Poverty Reduction Unit in Mali (Isaline Bergamaschi), veterinary agents and tax officials in Cameroon (José-María Muñoz), the civil service in Malawi (Gerhard Anders), teacher's unions and public service reform in Benin (Azizou Chabi Imorou), and 'pockets of effectiveness' in weak States such as Nigeria (Michael Roll). The last chapter (by Jean-Pierre Olivier de Sardan) draws comparative and theoretical conclusions from the empirical studies and from research conducted in other contexts over the last ten years. [ASC Leiden abstract]