Special Issue: Governance in Africa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


What kind of entity is the State in Africa? Is it, as some would have us believe, an entity that simply needs to get better at fulfilling its functions, becoming more democratic, or becoming less corrupt? Is it an entity that would be more credible and legitimate if only it would step away from ethnic politics and become more like its western cousins? In many meetings these days, one is often asked to discuss the problems of African governance in toto, as if there is a meaningful democratisation recipe to be learnt, some counter-insurgency dynamic to be uncovered, and as if in discovering it, all will be well. But as Africanists, experience tells us that context, time, and engagement matters, and whatever the ‘problem’ is that afflicts African states, it is as much about the society that created it, and the international interlocutors who attempt to reform it, as it is about the State itself.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-8
Number of pages6
JournalAustralasian Review of African Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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