P102
The anthropology of public services and bureaucracies

Convenors:
Thomas Bierschenk (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität)
Giorgio Blundo (EHESS/IRD)
Jean-Pierre Olivier de Sardan (LASDEL)
Stream:
Panels
Location:
A-303
Start time:
3 August, 2014 at 9:00
Session slots:
3

Short abstract:

This panel analyses the 'real' workings of states and public bureaucracies in different empirical settings, and aims at establishing bureaucracies and public services as productive objects of anthropological enquiry. The panel will focus on the daily functioning of state Services.

Long abstract:

This panel analyses the 'real' workings of states and public bureaucracies in different empirical settings, and aims at establishing bureaucracies and public services as productive objects of anthropological enquiry. The panel will focus on the daily functioning of state services, exploring the mundane practices of state-making from three key, inter-related points of entry: first, the ethnography of public servants (bureaucratic cultures and practical norms, operational routines in offices, career patterns and modes of appointment etc.); second, the delivery of public services and goods (how bureaucrats themselves perceive and deliver the goods and services for which their departments have responsibility and how they construct their everyday relationships with service users); and third, the accumulation of public administration reforms (how the different bureaucratic corps react to the 'good governance' discourse and new public management policies; the consequences of these reforms for the daily working of state bureaucracies and for the civil servants' identities and modes of accountability; the space that exists for bottom-up micro-reforms that build on local innovations or informal arrangements). The Panel will take place in three slots, under the titles: 1. Reform; 2. Ethnogrpaphies of bureaucracies; 3. Bureaucratic encounters