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Public authority in Africa

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Version 2 2023-09-13, 08:34
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chapter
revised on 2023-09-13, 08:28 and posted on 2023-09-13, 08:34 authored by Tom Kirk, Tim Allen

Academic research on theories in Africa has mushroomed in recent years, suggesting that governance is no longer primarily viewed through a statecentric lens. For some, this has been a welcome corrective to reductive discourses on good governance, neo-patrimonialism and state fragility. For others, it is a worrisome firtation with alternative forms of rule-making and political ordering that threatens to romanticise or difuse a host of ongoing policy issues afecting Africans and their state-building projects. This chapter explores the origins of the concept, its intellectual debt to legal pluralism and its approach to statehood and government action. We ofer some refections on its critical insights for public policy and development processes in Africa. We also selectively delve into emerging works that use a public authority lens to show why it has much to say about the nature of African states and life for those living in them, including nuancing older frameworks that proposed grand the-ories of their underdevelopment or distance from liberal norms. In the process, we address some of the research critiques on public authority and its contemporary directions.

Other Information

Published in: Routledge Handbook of Public Policy in Africa
License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0
See chapter on publisher's website: https://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781003143840-6

History

Language

  • English

Publisher

Routledge

Publication Year

  • 2021

License statement

This chapter is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Institution affiliated with

  • Hamad Bin Khalifa University
  • College of Public Policy - HBKU

Geographic coverage

Africa

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