Reconceptualizing State Building in Africa (III) (SWJ Blog)

Posted on by Brandon Klein

This series urges a fundamental reconsideration of traditional state building approaches. As the second article argued, these traditional approaches perpetrate two fundamental mistakes: 1) they reproduce centralized, top-heavy states when they should cultivate decentralized, local governance; and 2) they ignore the very systems that millions of Africans choose over the state. This third article expands upon this by exploring the implications of “non-state systems,” i.e. non-state structures, networks and complexes that provide economic, social and/or political services in cases of state collapse/failure. The