Daniel Mulugeta's new article on state-society relations in Ethiopia

Daniel Mulugeta has published an article, 'Dynamics of state-society relations in Ethiopia: paradoxes of community empowerment and participation in irrigation management' in the Journal of Eastern African Studies.

The article examines processes by which development project implementations afford the state the appearance of being a separate structure.

By exploring the implementation of an important state development project in North-western Ethiopia, the Koga Irrigation and Watershed Management (KIWM) scheme, it shows why and how the project plan does not correspond to the real life of the scheme.

The article unpacks assumptions that policymakers and development practitioners make about the a priori existence of a community and state distinction, and the ways in which they arrange them as functionally differentiated entities. It also shows how the project’s community-driven participatory approach, wherein local people were involved in managing the scheme, produces the effect of ghettoising practices of abuse as community issues.

The article contributes to recent ethnographic studies of state-society relations and contends that these studies could gain important insights by exploring development project implementation practices as an entry point into the study of the processes that give the state the appearance of a material reality.

Access the article here.

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