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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Filling in the blanks: the potency of fragmented imageries of the State
Author:Nielsen, MortenISNI
Year:2007
Periodical:Review of African Political Economy
Volume:34
Issue:114
Pages:695-708
Language:English
Geographic terms:Subsaharan Africa
Mozambique
Subjects:State
reform
images
State-society relationship
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03056240701819582
Abstract:Recent neopatrimonial approaches to the State see the sub-Saharan State as a fašade that serves - with different degrees of effectiveness - to disguise the play of clientelistic relations and the interests of kin and kith. Drawing on an analysis of how ideas are reproduced in periurban areas of Maputo, Mozambique, this article argues that no pre-given causality exists between encounters with a dysfunctional State apparatus and subjectively held understandings of ordinary people. It is impossible to determine a priori that incoherent and partial State practices necessarily lead individuals to perceive the State as devoid of legitimate moral value. On the contrary, locally situated individuals use ideas associated with the State to define entitlements and create standards for evaluating State-defined programmes or international donor-driven initiatives. Ideas of the State can thus be a basis for social action; even when the reality of State dysfunction is widely accepted, 'ordinary people' continue to invest themselves in these ideas. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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