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Between State and Community: Challenges to Redesigning Governance in Africa

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Hyden, Goran
Conference: Designing Constitutional Arrangements for Democratic Governance in Africa: Challenges and Possibilities
Location: Bloomington, IN
Conf. Date: March 30-31
Date: 2006
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/8014
Sector: Social Organization
Region: Africa
Subject(s): citizen participatory management
governance and politics
citizen organization
Tocqueville, Alexis de
Abstract: "The argument of this paper is that academic as well as policy discourse on African politics and development remains split between those who adhere to a improving macro structures and those who believe the region's future potential lies in its micro-level institutions. The former is driven primarily by international development agencies; the latter by assorted academics and activists. For ordinary Africans this is a chasm forcing them to seek solutions on their own or, if they can, opting out. The paper will discuss previous approaches that have been used to explain Africa's predicament and point to what they all have in common: an implicit reference to Africa's informal institutions. What potential do they have for rethinking and redesigning governance? Which are the options open for such a bold effort? These questions will be discussed with current approaches and particular country specifics in mind."

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