The bankruptcy of conventional approaches to state failure and state building in Africa has drawn attention to new forms of order emerging on the ground in areas where the presence of the state is weak. Widely described by the term ‘hybrid governance’, these new organizational forms incorporate local institutions and popular organizations to fill gaps in state capacity. Is this just a new development buzzword, or does hybrid governance provide a useful conceptual tool for understanding, and even facilitating, more grounded and sustainable processes of governance in Africa?
This workshop will bring together specialists from Europe and Africa to explore the empirical realities of hybrid governance in a range of fragile and more dynamic African contexts, focusing on the factors that shape positive as well as negative paths of hybrid governance in contemporary Africa.
Drawing on extensive empirical research in a range of African countries, including Somalia, South Sudan, the DR Congo and Nigeria, participants will consider how different levels of state capacity, and different choices of local partners (armed or non-armed actors; informal or formal; indigenous or international organizations), shape divergent trends in hybrid governance outcomes.