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Chapter Summary

This front matter section of the book States at Work: Dynamics of African Bureaucracies presents the table of contents, a note on what others say about states at work, acknowledgements, and a note about the authors. The book contributes to the academic debates on processes of state-building in Africa and, among development practitioners, on the role of the state in development, by underpinning these debates with an empirical grounding than is often the case in the existing literature. It analyses the 'real' workings of states and public bureaucracies in African countries. The book defines the public services of the Global South, and in Africa, as a legitimate and productive object of anthropological enquiry. It develops an intensive dialogue in the context of the study of the state between anthropology and other disciplines, and shows that anthropologists, in particular, need to engage the sociology of organization and bureaucracy in the North.

Keywords: Africa; anthropology; bureaucracy; public services



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