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Critical Perspectives on African Politics

Liberal interventions, state-building and civil society

Edited by Clive Gabay, Carl Death

Routledge – 2014 – 186 pages

Series: Routledge Studies in African Politics and International Relations

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    978-0-415-81824-7
    May 9th 2014
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Description

Strong states and strong civil societies are now increasingly hailed as the twin drivers of a ‘rising Africa’. Current attempts to support growth and democracy are part of a longer history of promoting projects of disciplinary, regulatory and liberal rule and values beyond ‘the West’. Yet this is not simply Western domination of a passive continent. Such an interpretation misses out on the complexities and nuances of the politics of state-building and civil society promotion, and the central role of African agency.

Drawing upon critical theory, including postcolonial and governmentality approaches, this book interrogates international practices of state-building and civil society support in Africa. It seeks to develop a theoretically informed critical approach to discourses and interventions such as those associated with broadly ‘Western’ initiatives in Africa. In doing so, the book highlights the power relations, inequalities, coercion and violence that are deeply implicated within contemporary international interventions on the African continent. Providing a range of empirical cases and theoretical approaches, the chapters are united by their critical treatment of political dynamics in Africa.

This book will be of interest to students and scholars of African politics, development studies, postcolonial theory, International Relations, international political economy and peacekeeping/making.

Contents

Acknowledgements

Contributor notes

  1. Clive Gabay and Carl Death, ‘Introduction: Critical perspectives on liberal interventions and governmentality in Africa’
  2. Part I: The liberal project in Africa

  3. David Williams and Tom Young, ‘Engineering Civil Society in Africa’
  4. Kudzai Matereke, ‘Governing rural poverty and development in postcolonial Zimbabwe: Insights from Foucault’s governmentality approach’
  5. Carl Death, ‘Legitimacy and governmentality in Tanzania: Environmental mainstreaming in the developing world’
  6. Part II: Building communities

  7. Jana Hönke, ‘Business and the uses of "civil society": Governing Congolese mining areas’
  8. Karen Treasure, ‘Connecting state, citizen and society? The externalised context of community groups in Zambia’
  9. Part III: Resistance and the everyday

  10. Alex Wafer, ‘Informality and the Spaces of Civil Society in post-apartheid Johannesburg’
  11. Morten Bøås, ‘Citizenship, contested belonging and ‘civil society’ as vernacular architecture’
  12. Marta Iñiguez de Heredia, ‘Escaping Statebuilding: Resistance and Civil Society in the Democratic Republic of Congo’

Index

Author Bio

Clive Gabay is Senior Lecturer in International Politics at Queen Mary University of London, UK.

Carl Death is Senior Lecturer in International Political Economy at the University of Manchester, UK.

Name: Critical Perspectives on African Politics: Liberal interventions, state-building and civil society (Hardback)Routledge 
Description: Edited by Clive Gabay, Carl Death. Strong states and strong civil societies are now increasingly hailed as the twin drivers of a ‘rising Africa’. Current attempts to support growth and democracy are part of a longer history of promoting projects of disciplinary,...
Categories: International Relations, African & Third World Politics, Politics & Development, Politics & International Relations, Political Lobbying & Interest Groups, Government, International Politics