Accepted paper:

Public goods as a power relation: The case of garbage collection in eastern DRC


Randi Solhjell (Norwegian Police University College)

Paper short abstract:

What is public about public goods? Who defines the 'public'? In this paper, I offer a critical debate on the idea of public goods in light of garbage collection in a city in eastern DR Congo, Bukavu. I find that public goods creates distinctions and questions everyday statehood.

Paper long abstract:

"Public good" is a source of creating distinctions between who is considered a citizen and who is not. In this paper, I argue that is essential to take a deeper immersion into perceptions of what people themselves see as "public goods" and what "public" constitutes for subjects in different positions and situations. I offer a study of the case of garbage collection in Bukavu, eastern DR Congo, from the viewpoint of the urban poor, middle class citizens and elites.

panel Econ31
Continuity and disruption in public service provision