edited by Wale Adebanwi
Ohio University Press, 2022
Paper: 978-0-8214-2490-2 | eISBN: 978-0-8214-4779-6 | Cloth: 978-0-8214-2487-2
Library of Congress Classification JQ1875
Dewey Decimal Classification 320.96

Bottom-up case studies, drawn from the perspective of ordinary Africans’ experiences with state bureaucracies, structures, and services, reveal how citizens and states define each other. This volume examines contemporary citizens’ everyday encounters with the state and democratic processes in Africa. The contributions reveal the intricate and complex ways in which quotidian activities and experiences—from getting an identification card (genuine or fake) to sourcing black-market commodities to dealing with unreliable waste collection—both (re)produce and (re)constitute the state and democracy. This approach from below lends gravity to the mundane and recognizes the value of conceiving state governance not in terms of its stated promises and aspirations but rather in accordance with how people experience it. Both new and established scholars based in Africa, Europe, and North America cover a wide range of examples from across the continent, including bureaucratic machinery in South Sudan, Nigeria, and Kenya infrastructure and shortages in Chad and Nigeria disciplinarity, subjectivity, and violence in Rwanda, South Africa, and Nigeria the social life of democracy in the Congo, Cameroon, and Mozambique education, welfare, and health in Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Burkina Faso Everyday State and Democracy in Africa demonstrates that ordinary citizens’ encounters with state agencies and institutions define the meanings, discourses, practices, and significance of democratic life, as well its distressing realities. Contributors: Daniel Agbiboa Victoria Bernal Jean Comaroff John L. Comaroff E. Fouksman Fred Ikanda Lori Leonard Rose Løvgren Ferenc Dávid Markó Ebenezer Obadare Rogers Orock Justin Pearce Katrien Pype Edoardo Quaretta Jennifer Riggan Helle Samuelsen Nicholas Rush Smith Eric Trovalla Ulrika Trovalla