Contesting 'good' Governance: Crosscultural Perspectives on Representation, Accountability and Public Space
This study examines people's involvement in politics. Seven social anthropologists explore large-scale and complex political processes through the prism of detailed fieldwork. Research in localities in India, Cuba, Ethiopia, Taiwan and Lebanon is used to develop a broader understanding of global political phenomena such as democracy, representation and accountability. The contributors to the book stress the political dimension of everyday life and avoid consigning political practise or context such as a political party. To contextualise aspects of 'good' governance the articles in the volume deal with people's perceptions of and interactions with the state; how they interpret government laws and regulations; how they interact with officials and how they comment on acts and speeches made by local bureaucrats and national power holders. Through a discussion of the much debated distinction between private and public, the articles show how the notions of public and private are interconnected in many ways, how they are contested and reformulated by people based on their experiences, and how they can be used as a tool in questioning dominant ideas and ways of executing 'good' governance.