Fixing the African State: Recognition, Politics, and by Brian Dill (auth.)

By Brian Dill (auth.)

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Additional info for Fixing the African State: Recognition, Politics, and Community-Based Development in Tanzania

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47 The second explanatory framework shifts attention away from community capacities and onto the nexus of institutional and cultural frameworks. Analysts writing in this vein emphasize, first and foremost, the exogenous nature of contemporary development discourse and practice. 49 The community-based and -driven approach to development is a contemporary example of such developmental hubris. It is framed as yet another “best practice” that can and should be readily transferred from one society to another.

Origins The unplanned residential sprawl that is emblematic of Dar es Salaam today would have seemed unlikely at the city’s birth approximately 38 Fixing the African State 150 years ago. No one could have anticipated that the scattered villages that once occupied this stretch of tropical East African coastline would eventually evolve into a vibrant, heterogeneous city of four million people, or that the majority of its current occupants would be left to fend for itself in terms of housing, services, and livelihoods.

The state-system). Instead, Abrams maintains that it is better understood as an ideological project by which the political institutionalization of power is legitimated. The state is a device to convince those who are subject to its rules, impelled to contribute their resources and quite possibly disadvantaged by existing structures, that institutionalized power serves their common interests, maintains cohesion, guarantees independence, and is rooted in collective morality. Our task as social scientists is thus to explain how this idea of the state is communicated, constituted, and imposed.

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