In Search of the State: An Ethnography of
Public Service Provision in Urban Niger
By Gabriella Korling
Uppsala University Press
Distributed by Coronet Books Inc.
$77.50 Paper original
The study explores public health and education provision in Niamey, the capital of Niger, by merging the ethnographic study of public services with an anthropological analysis of the state and of local politics. On the basis of longterm fieldwork carried out in peri-urban neighborhoods, the author highlights the political, economic, and socio-cultural aspects of public service provision, too often hidden behind contemporary buzzwords of development such as community participation and decentalization.
In a context of decentralization and faltering state support, the delivery of public services is ensured by a wide range of actors and institutions including community committees, traditional chiefs, local associations, the municipality, emerging local leaders, NGOs, and international development aid.
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