Beyond the State in Rural Uganda

Beyond the State in Rural Uganda

BEN JONES
Copyright Date: 2009
Pages: 224
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3366/j.ctt1r2c87
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Beyond the State in Rural Uganda
    Book Description:

    This book challenges the usual ways in which development and change are regarded in rural Africa and provides a corrective to state-centred studies of development.

    eISBN: 978-0-7486-3667-9
    Subjects: Anthropology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. List of Maps, Plates and Tables
    (pp. vi-vi)
  4. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
    (pp. vii-ix)
  5. ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. x-x)
  6. GLOSSARY
    (pp. xi-xii)
  7. PREFACE
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  8. Maps
    (pp. xvii-xix)
  9. 1 INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-11)

    Uganda is regarded as one of Africa’s few success stories.¹ Over the past two decades a consensus has been reached that the country has changed for the better. Once considered one of the continent’s more tightly woven basket cases, Uganda has turned into something of a model of African development. The turnaround in Uganda’s fortunes is explained, by and large, as the work of a reform-minded government in partnership with the international development community. The high rates of economic growth found in surveys commissioned by the government and its partners support the view of a country transformed. Between 1987 and...

  10. 2 INTRODUCING OLEDAI
    (pp. 13-30)

    The sub-parish of Oledai is located in the Teso region of eastern Uganda. As of 1 January 2002, the sub-parish numbered 126 households, and had a total population of 862.¹ The majority of these households were extremely poor.² People made a living mostly through cultivating foodstuffs – cassava, groundnuts, millet and sorghum, as well as sweet potatoes. Much of this production was used to feed the family, though some of it was sold on at the market in nearby Ngora. Eighty of the 126 households listed farming as their main occupation.³ Women did the bulk of farmwork and housework. Men...

  11. 3 TESO SOCIETY THROUGH THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
    (pp. 31-61)

    Thus Thomas and Scott, in their 1935 survey, on the transformation of the Teso region. The survey came twenty-eight years after Teso was granted district status within the Uganda Protectorate. Their commentary suggests the rapid speed with which colonial government established itself in what was considered a ‘backward’ region. Cotton, the driver of change, was introduced in the first decade of the twentieth century and transformed not only the social and political geography of Teso, but also the fortunes of Uganda. The revenues from cotton made Uganda self-financing. Cotton, which comprised only 10 per cent of exports in 1906–7,...

  12. 4 THE VILLAGE COURT AND THE WITHDRAWN STATE
    (pp. 63-89)

    Since the late 1980s the Ugandan government has produced a raft of reforms aimed at moving power away from the centre.¹ Decentralisation, or the transfer of decision-making powers closer to the point of delivery, was the signature reform of the 1990s, and links Uganda into a much larger story of political reform across the African continent. Over the past decade a number of African governments have reorganised themselves in similar fashion. The 1995 Constitution enshrined the decentralised system of government in Uganda, while subsequent reforms have transferred more and more political and economic responsibilities to district and local governments. Uganda...

  13. 5 THE PENTECOSTAL CHURCH
    (pp. 91-110)

    In her 1968 study of village politics in Teso Joan Vincent did not dwell upon the role of churches.¹ African Elite discussed churches only in terms of party political loyalties. Christianity was best understood as an imported ideology, relevant for those who wanted a career in the higher reaches of the civil service, largely unimportant for those who remained in the village (Vincent 1968: 34). The Iteso, with their history of migration and pastoralism, were ill-suited to the formal hierarchies required by the Catholic and Anglican mission societies and this structural mismatch weakened the overall work of the churches. Louise...

  14. 6 THE ANGLICAN AND CATHOLIC CHURCHES
    (pp. 111-131)

    Over the past decade there had also been a period of renewal and renovation in the Catholic and Anglican congregations in the village of Oledai. The arrival of the Pentecostal Assemblies of God, discussed in the previous chapter, had been matched, to some extent, by the growth of charismatic forms of worship in the two historic mission churches. Church membership had become more important in defining one’s social position, and church leaders had influence over parts of village life which had been off-limits to them in the past. Increasing importance was attached to rules and notions of proper behaviour among...

  15. 7 BURIAL SOCIETIES
    (pp. 133-155)

    The major innovation in Oledai’s social arrangements was the introduction of burial societies. By the time I arrived in the area almost every villager was a member of such a society. They worked as insurance schemes, typically organised around a lineage group (ateker), and collected money on the death of a society member to help the home with the costs of burial. They provided labour and organisational support during the burial, and had somewhat eclipsed, or taken over, the customary arrangements that dealt with marriage negotiations or inheritance disputes. So profound had their impact been that interviews with villagers on...

  16. 8 CONCLUSION
    (pp. 157-165)

    That Uganda has been considered a ‘success story’ for the past twenty years would come as something of a surprise to the people I spent time with in Oledai. In particular, the idea that the few material improvements in the lives of villagers relate, first and foremost, to the policies and programmes of the government agencies or development organisations would be difficult to comprehend. The avenues through which the state was supposed to have mattered were closed off. Decentralisation and democratisation did not play a particularly important role. The government was more interested in the funds coming in from foreign...

  17. APPENDIX A: RESEARCH METHODS
    (pp. 167-172)
  18. APPENDIX B: INTERVIEWS AND GROUP DISCUSSIONS
    (pp. 173-179)
  19. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 180-193)
  20. INDEX
    (pp. 195-199)
  21. Back Matter
    (pp. 200-202)