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Relational governance of territorial resources in post-colonial Africa : A new analytic framework

Title data

Rothfuss, Eberhard ; Boamah, Festus ; Dörfler, Thomas:
Relational governance of territorial resources in post-colonial Africa : A new analytic framework.
In: Die Erde. Vol. 152 (26 June 2021) Issue 2 . - pp. 75-90.
ISSN 0013-9998
DOI: https://doi.org/10.12854/erde-2021-527

Official URL: Volltext

Abstract in another language

Current political sociology scholarship suggests that limited state autonomy from societal organisations undermines state enforcement capacity throughout the national territory, and therefore does superficial separation of the state from civil society (or formal from informal institutions) in the conceptualisation of what effective state system ought to be. These conceptions contradict realities in post-colonial Africa where societal organisations have evolved to bear ‘state-like’ qualities in resource governance, especially in remote locations where the state has no promising alter- native to accommodating inputs from revered institutions or charismatic actors to complement its functions. Colo- nial experiences in Africa have produced institutional pluralism and a consequential split loyalty to the state in the post-independence era. Apparently, limited state autonomy sometimes refract or obstruct state visions; the resultant co-governance regime does not imply ‘wishy-washy’ state leadership. This is because state formation processes have produced an intermeshed governance of people, places, and resources through a complicated interplay between entities which have become indistinct in terms of functions, and hence cannot be simplistically categorised as either formal or informal, state or non-state. In this sense, the activity of regulating affairs in the post-colonial regime is characterised by relational governance – a form of governance sutured via reciprocal relation(s) between multiple actors across dif- ferent spatial scales and milieus. Drawing on an empirical study of biofuel projects in Ghana, we believe a relational governance approach provides an analytic framework to challenge this orthodoxy in governance studies and refresh discussions on the nature of state-society relations required for effective governance of territorial resources in post- colonial regimes characterised by institutional pluralism.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Institutions of the University: Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Social and Population Geography > Chair Social and Population Geography - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Eberhard Rothfu�
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Social and Population Geography
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 900 History and geography > 910 Geography, travel
900 History and geography > 920 Biography, genealogy
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2021 08:35
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2021 08:35
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/66358