Twilight governance: local power, politics and participation in Luanda

Monday, 7 March, 2022 - 16:00

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In this presentation I will provide an outline of the main arguments of the book project that is currently under contract with Wiley Blackwell, as part of the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research Studies in Urban and Social Change series. My concern in this project is with the politics, prospects and limitations of decentralization and democratization reforms, which in many parts of Africa – and elsewhere in the world – are ongoing and in some cases are being contested or reversed. Building on research conducted in the Angolan capital city of Luanda, I advance the notion of ‘twilight governance’, to make sense of both a mode and a product of governance through which local actors and structures of public authority are regulated to maintain order and control. I argue that the study of the historical roots, legal tools and everyday practices underpinning this mode of governance is central in the urban context as cities represent key sites for the maintenance – but also possible contestation – of the dominance and longevity of ruling political regimes.

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