In this innovative study, Ben Jones argues that scholars too often assume that the state is the most important force behind change in local political communities in Africa. Studies look to the state, and to the impact of government reforms, as ways of understanding processes of development and change. Using the example of Uganda, regarded as one of Africa's few "success stories", Jones chronicles the insignificance of the state and the marginal impact of Western development agencies. Extensive ethnographic fieldwork in a Ugandan village reveals that it is churches, the village court, and organizations based on family and kinships obligations that represent the most significant sites of innovation and social transformation.Groundbreaking and critical in turn, Beyond the State offers a new anthropological perspective on how to think about processes of social and political change in poorer parts of the world. It should appeal to anyone interested in African development.
About the Author
Ben Jones is Lecturer in Social Policy at the London School of Economics.
Table of Contents
List of Maps, Plates and Tables vi
1 Introduction 1
2 Introducing Oledai 13
3 Teso Society through the Twentieth Century 31
4 The Village Court and the Withdrawn State 63
5 The Pentecostal Church 91
6 The Anglican and Catholic Churches 111
7 Burial Societies 133
8 Conclusion 157
Appendix A Research Methods 167
Appendix B Interviews and Group Discussions 173