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Between Citizenship and Clientship: The Politics of participatory governance in Malawi.

Gaynor, Niamh (2010) Between Citizenship and Clientship: The Politics of participatory governance in Malawi. Journal of Southern African Studies, 36 (4). pp. 801-816. ISSN 0305-7070

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In the twenty years since the post-Cold War wave of democratisation spread across Africa, experiments in participatory governance have revealed fundamental contradictions between their normative bases and their practical application on the ground. Responding to calls for a greater focus on ‘the politics of everyday life’ including the actions of local actors in the context of less-westernised aspects of indigenous political culture, and drawing on the experiences and actions, over a six year period, of the principal civic network involved initially in Malawi’s PRS process, this paper illustrates how contemporary Malawian politics at local level comprises a complex mix of the old and the new. Charting the evolving agency and activities of network members at district level, the paper demonstrates how, in the ongoing struggles for resources for everyday life, normative discourses of participation and representation are combined with more traditional cultures and practices in shaping, moulding and ultimately, it is proposed, invigorating contemporary political agency in Malawi.

Item Type:Article (Published)
Subjects:Social Sciences > Globalization
Social Sciences > Sociology
Social Sciences > International relations
Social Sciences > Public administration
Humanities > Culture
Social Sciences > Political science
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Science > School of Law and Government
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
Official URL:
Copyright Information:© Taylor & Francis (Routledge) 2010.
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. View License
ID Code:16217
Deposited On:10 May 2011 16:06 by Niamh Gaynor. Last Modified 30 Jun 2012 04:02

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