Skip to main content

Twilight Institutions: Public Authority and Local Politics in Africa

Twilight Institutions: Public Authority and Local Politics in Africa

Christian Lund (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-405-15528-1

May 2007, Wiley-Blackwell

288 pages

Select type: Paperback

In Stock

$41.95

Description

Focusing on the condition of public authority in Africa, Twilight Institutions investigates how, when confronted with state failure, public institutions attempt to gain authority; operating in the twilight between state and society, between public and private.

  • Approaches public authority ‘from below’, exploring a variety of concrete encounters between forms of public authority and the more or less mundane practices of ordinary people
1. Twilight Institutions – An Introduction: Christian Lund (International Development Studies, Roskilde University).

2. Twilight Institutions. Public Authority And Local Politics In Africa: Christian Lund (International Development Studies, Roskilde University).

3. The Politics Of Vigilance In South-Eastern Nigeria: David Pratten (Oxford University).

4. Reordering Society. Vigilantism And Sovereign Expressions In Port Elizabeth’s Townships: Lars Buur (Danish Institute for International Studies and Research Associate, Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research, Johannesburg South Africa).

5. Negotiating Authority – Between Unhcr And ‘The People’: Simon Turner (Danish Institute for International Studies, Copenhagen).

6. ”It Was Satan That Took The People”: The Making Of Public Authority In Burkina Faso: Sten Hagberg (Uppsala University).

7. Dealing With The Local State. The Informal Privatization Of Street-Level Bureaucracies In Senegal: Giorgio Blundo (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Marseille).

8. Decentralization, Local Taxation And Citizenship In Senegal: Kristine Juul (Institute of Geography and International Development Studies, Roskilde University).

9. Contested Sources Of Authority. Re-Claiming State Sovereignty By Formalizing Traditional Authority In Mozambique: Lars Buur (Danish Institute for International Studies, Copenhagen) and Helene Maria Kyed (Danish Institute for International Studies, Copenhagen and International Development Studies, Roskilde University).

10. Statemaking And The Politics Of The Frontier In Central Benin: Pierre-Yves Le Meur (Groupe de recherche et d’échanges technologiques, Paris and IRD, Montpellier).

11. Decentralization, the state and conflicts over local boundaries in North-Western Ghana: Carola Lentz (Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz).

12. Strong Bar, Weak State? Lawyers, Liberalism And State Formation In Zambia: Jeremy Gould (University of Helsinki).

"This volume offers well-researched and original insights into an important area of politics. Compared to contributions from anthropology on politics in Africa in the 1990s, this volume takes a more fruitful direction." (African History, March 2008)

“Offer[s] insightful analytical perspectives on the emergency and behavior of ‘twilight institutions’ … good addition for university libraries and collections specializing in Africana and comparative politics. Recommended.”(Choice Reviews)


  • Focuses on the condition of public authority in Africa
  • Investigates how public authority actually works in the face of obvious state failure and impending collapse
  • Approaches public authority ‘from below’, exploring a variety of concrete encounters between forms of public authority and the more or less mundane practices of ordinary people
  • Examines the institutions that operate in the twilight between state and society, between public and private