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Governance and the Postcolony – Views from Africa (Book launch)

- Kemantha Govender

The Wits School of Governance launched their book, Governance and the Postcolony – Views from Africa.


This book, edited by our Head of School, Professor David Everatt, contains chapters from our academics and students. 

You can purchase a copy at the Donald Gordon reception for a discounted price of R300

Snippets from the book:

Professor David Everatt elaborates on the impact of power and how governance is rarely explained in terms of power and the more prevalent this silence becomes, combined with endless calls for good governance the less value the term connotes or contains.  Watch Professor Everatt's interview on the book on SABC

Professor Pundy Pillay looks at the relationship between governance and development and notes the current paradigm (that poor countries are poor because of bad governance and wealthy countries are wealthy because of improved governance) is simplistic and lacks context because some countries improve at the expense of others.

Dr Caryn Abrahams looks at food networks in Lusaka, noting that global regimes directly threaten food security in Zambia and observes that the poor do not need assistance but need to be able to get closer to the levers of power if they are to have impact.

Associate Professor Anthoni van Nieuwkerk and Bongiwe Ngcobo Mphahlele in their case study of African crisis leadership suggests ways in which West African states have enhanced local governance by suffering a crisis – the Ebola outbreak in this instance – and have learned the importance of local response, informed by local realities, assisted but not driven by any external/multilateral agenda.

Mike Muller looks at “governance versus government” and attempts to understand how governance can help manage of the most fundamental assets in any society – water.

Dr Darlene Miller and her colleagues analyse conditions in the postcolonial academy through a decolonial lens arguing that the postcolonial university in South Africa continues to privilege white men above others as well as a particular Western approach to learning and teaching.

Dr Chelete Monyane questions whether another key player in governance, the judiciary has overstepped generally agreed interpretations of the separation of powers. He argues that the failings of government and politics and the use of “lawfare” to settle essentially political disputes has had the effect of drawing the judiciary way beyond its comfort zone by having to deal with elements of “state capture” and the looting of state coffers by elected and unelected officials alike.

Associate Professor William Gumede’s examination of SOES in SA shows the limits of governance prescripts when faced by a relentless onslaught of rent-seekers.