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State Bureaucracy And Governance In Francophone West Africa: An Empirical Diagnosis And Historical Perspective

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Chapter Summary

Various administrative services (e.g. health, justice, customs, municipalities) have been investigated along with forms of delivery of public goods or services that are not directly state-related (e.g. development projects, NGOs, chieftaincies). This chapter summarises the main results of these studies in the form of a series of common characteristics of daily governance. Following this empirical diagnosis, the chapter presents a historical perspective, focusing on the colonial emergence of modern bureaucracy in Africa as one factor, among others, that could explain the present situation. In spite of the clichés and stereotypes extolling the community solidarity there, the West African countries studied are kingdoms of ?every-manfor- himself-ism,? at least with regard to the public sector and, undoubtedly also, beyond it. In the administrative services, teamwork is more or less unknown and no one interferes in a colleague?s work.

Keywords: administrative services; colonial emergence; daily governance; modern bureaucracy; public goods; West African countries



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