APPEL A COMMUNICATIONS / CALL FOR PAPERS
Local State-making in Africa: between international programs and everyday administration
Panel organisé par Sara Simone (Università degli Studi di Napoli L’Orientale) et Mehdi Labzaé (University Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, collaborateur du CFEE) dans le cadre de la 6e Conférence européenne des études africaines (Paris, 8-10 juillet 2015).
Panel coordinated by Sara Simone (Università degli Studi di Napoli L’Orientale) et Mehdi Labzaé (Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sobronne, collaborator of CFEE) for the 6th European Conference of African Studies (Paris, July 8th-10th 2015).
Date limite pour l’appel à contribution (en anglais) : 9 janvier 2015 / Deadline for submitting papers (in English): January 9th 2015.
The worldwide influence of good governance and development buzzwords and discourses in African governments’ policy design is widely acknowledged in academic literature and sought by international policy-makers. As conditionality gave way to post-conditionality regimes blurring the internal-external dichotomy, public action is increasingly less a product of mere national politics. Blueprint administrative reforms, training and capacity-building programs for administrative and government officers are funded (and often organized) by international donors’ agencies in pursuit of a neutral bureaucratic institutional order consistent with a weberian idea of the State. However, in Africa as elsewhere, especially outside of capital cities, bureaucrats are the real embodiment of the state, the medium through which people experience government in their daily lives, and this makes the “performance” of African administrations extremely variable from place to place. Moreover, bureaucrats find themselves constantly interacting with a number of other national and international actors (NGOs, CSOs, private investors, etc.) that participate in the performance of state functions, and influence the repertoire of actions they can draw upon in their everyday work.
Through the discussion of empirical cases, this panel wishes to address everyday interactions between these actors and supposedly super-partes bureaucrats which, we believe, contribute to state making even more than laws and policies.