P086 – Transnational Policymaking and State Formation in Africa: How do Transnational Networks of Actors and Institutions Affect State Formation?
10 July, 16:00 – 17:30

N'Diaye Marième / Université de Montréal
Diallo Rozenn / LAM/Sciences Po Bordeaux


The incorporation of the state in transnational networks of actors and institutions, both public and private, is a global phenomenon. Public authorities are for instance more and more in competition and/or bypassed by transnational networks of expertise and philanthropy, whose multiplication gives birth to normative and semi-autonomous spaces that coexist with the state sphere. Policymaking is thus transnational in most sectors (education, security, health, environment, law). In that regard, we can speak of a globalized state, in the sense of new forms of government that are greatly globalized. State formation – as a historical process made of conflict, negotiations and compromise between different groups whose interactions constitute the vulgarization of power (Berman, Lonsdale, 1992) – has then to be read through the lens of continuous interactions and negotiations between public and private actors, both domestic and international (Hagmann, Péclard, 2010 ; Lund, 2006).
This panel intends to assess what these dynamics reveal about state formation in Africa, both in theoretical and methodological perspectives: what impact do transnational networks have on state formation? In other words, what does transnational policymaking tell us about state formation?

Action publique transnationale et formation de l’Etat en Afrique :  Comment les réseaux transnationaux d’acteurs et d’institutions affectent-ils le processus de formation de l’Etat?
L’incorporation de l’Etat au sein de réseaux transnationaux d’acteurs et d’institutions, tant publics que privés, est un phénomène global. Les autorités publiques sont par exemple de plus en plus en compétition et/ou contournées par des réseaux transnationaux d’expertise et de philanthropie, dont la multiplication donne naissance à des espaces normatifs et semi-autonomes qui coexistent avec la sphère étatique. L’action publique est ce faisant transnationale dans la plupart des secteurs (éducation, sécurité, santé, environnement, droit). A cet égard, on peut parler d’Etat globalisé, au sens de nouvelles formes de gouvernement intrinsèquement globalisées. La formation de l’Etat – entendue comme le processus historique fait de conflits, de négociations et de compromis entre différents groupes dont les interactions constituent la vulgarisation du pouvoir (Berman, Lonsdale, 1992) – doit donc être lue au prisme de négociations permanentes entre acteurs publics et privés, nationaux et internationaux (Hagmann, Péclard, 2010 ; Lund, 2006).
Ce panel propose d’analyser ce que ces dynamiques révèlent de la formation de l’Etat en Afrique : quel impact les réseaux transnationaux ont-ils sur la formation de l’Etat ? En d’autres termes, que nous dit l’action publique transnationale sur la formation de l’Etat?

Paper 1

Provini Olivier / LAM/Université de Pau et des pays de l’Amour

Analysing transnational policymaking through the theoretical lens of state building in Tanzania. A comparative study of higher education and land policies

Since the 1970s Tanzania has attracted particular attention from the international donor community. In fact, Tanzania has been the biggest recipient of development assistance in Sub-Saharan Africa (Edwards, 2014 : 52-53). Numerous authors and development experts have dealt with this empirical evidence and have shaped Tanzania as a donor darling (Coulson, 1982 ; Bigsten&Anders, 2001 ; Harrison et al., 2009 ; Hodler&Dreher, 2013 ; Edwards, 2014 ; Lofchie, 2014). However, these research studies lack an analysis of the impact of this specific political economy on the policy-process. Making a comparative analysis of two policy fields (higher education and land policies), the aim of this paper is to grasp the effects of the transnational networks of actors (international organisations, Nordic donors, American foundations, private investors) on policy-making. Our assumption is that the synergy between political economy and the policy-making process can only be analysed through the theoretical lens of state building. Authors argue that the state actors are generally bypassed in the making of higher education (privatization of public universities) and land (land grabbing) policies. However, our empirical results show that policies are negotiated by a variety of public and non-public stakeholders and shaped through its historical path. In a context of transnational policy-making, we thus observe a two-way relationship between politics and policies that will be discussed in our paper.

Paper 2

Bergamaschi Isaline / Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Columbia

Mali’s transnational government since 2012: Transformations and Agency

What does it mean, for an aid-dependent country, to receive and host a United Nations´ peace-keeping mission? This presentation analyses the transformations of international intervention in Mali since the crisis that burst in March 2012 and its effects on national agency, State policy and sovereignty.
The crisis has generated interesting debates about international intervention and the State and a crisis of the aid regime within the Bamako-based donor community in 2012 and 2013. This has created a competition, culture shock and division of labour between different categories of international actors – mostly development workers and humanitarian staff. I argue that there is no “merging” between logics, actors and practices of security and development (as argued by Mark Duffield, 2001).
In this new context, the Malian government’s sovereign room to manoeuvre is tight but real. The stakes and modalities of the government’s agency in dealing with external actors and protecting sovereign interests are changing. The UN intervention has generated new claims of sovereignty amongst public officials while the State apparatus was also going through a “learning curve” in their relationships with the UN. The government’s agency will be analysed from three different case-studies: the use of the “terrorism” label, references to the colonial past to justify – and later criticize – the French military operation, and finally the resistance to OECD attempts to classify Mali as a “fragile state”.

Paper 3

Alpes Jill / VU Amsterdam

Transnational migration control and sending states: the unifying force of ‘fraud’ at the airport of Douala, Cameroon

This paper approaches transnational policy making by proposing a case study of dynamics in the sector of migration control. The European Union has over the last ten year increased efforts to externalize migration control. With its carrier sanctions, for example, the European Union has begun to bypass the work of police officers in sending states. Development funds for police trainings and civil registry reforms, too, have transformed the agenda of the Cameroonian state and its agents. Yet, transnational policy making transforms governance structures and stateness globally. This paper analyses the emerging interactions and negotiations between private and public actors, both French and Cameroonian, engaged in border controls. The article is based on three months of ethnographic observations at the international airport of Douala, Cameroon, and respectively discusses interactions at the control posts of the private security company SICASS, at the Cameroonian police post and during
the patrols of the French liaison officer. The paper argues that fraud has been constructed as a unifying force amongst private, public, domestic and international actors engaged in migration control. By putting the burden for illegality on travelers, fraud glosses over conflicts of interest between different actors. By multiplying actors at the airport, transnational migration control has created semi-autonomous spaces in which Weberian principles of sovereignty no longer operate as expected.

Paper 4

Di Matteo Francesca / Centre Norbert Elias, EHESS, Marseille

The impact of transnational networks on agenda setting and policy formulation of the National Land Policy in Kenya

The 2009 Kenya National Land Policy (NLP) along with the 2010 Constitution have been reached through a crisis recovery process. The 2007 Presidential election engulfed the country in civil conflict; donors took this political crisis quite seriously exerting pressure on Kenyan political leaders in order to get them committed to the process of governance restructuring. Furthermore, the NLP reflects the international paradigm providing for securing land rights through the formalization of customary tenures. In fact, one of its original aspects is the acknowledgement of legal pluralism by devolving powers to local authorities. This aspect is however controversial because of the strong influence since colonialism of policy narratives promoting land titling. In the light of this institutional legacy, I question how this policy, which differs fundamentally from the previous ones, has been adopted? To which extent has the Kenyan public authority been affected by the confrontational dynamic with international actors? Have national authorities ultimately been bypassed by international actors? Or rather, transnational networks have eventually been exploited by Kenyan authorities to legitimize the state action in a post-crisis context? I propose to analyze the actors’ interactions, strategic alliances and conflicts characterizing these processes of policy-making hence aiming at showing how public action is shaped in Kenya and how through these processes state-formation is preforming.

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