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Rebuilding public authority in Uganda dualist theory, hybrid social orders and democratic statehood

Brett, Edwin (2022) Rebuilding public authority in Uganda dualist theory, hybrid social orders and democratic statehood. World Development, 159. ISSN 0305-750X

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2022.106055


Conflicted African societies are confronting a crisis of public authority caused by the ethnic, sectarian and class conflicts generated by their ongoing transitions from authoritarian to liberal democratic institutional systems. Most have introduced competitive elections which have rarely produced stable and inclusive political outcomes, discrediting the dominant liberal democratic state-building agenda. We draw on classical ‘dualist’ and ‘new institutionalist’ theorists to explain these failures and suggest alternative strategies. They attribute these tensions to the co-existence of contradictory liberal and illiberal rules and cultural systems that interact in dissonant ways in hybrid social orders, and they enable us to develop a ‘society-centric historical methodology’ that attributes their ability or inability to achieve democratic statehood to the ability of their regimes to build inclusive and hybrid political settlements and organisational structures that reconcile the competing demands of modern and traditional elites and subordinate classes. We then demonstrate the utility of this approach by using it to explain Uganda's transition from a stable, but dualistic colonial state, to a predatory dictatorship and then to a relatively successful competitive autocracy.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Author
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2022 09:45
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2022 23:17

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