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Synergies, Stalemates and Social Dilemmas. Governance in South Africa in Comparative Perspective

Frödin, Olle LU (2008)
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Avhandlingen utreder några av konsekvenserna av de institutionella reformer som genomfördes i Sydafrika under 1990-talet, med särskilt fokus på det nya kommunsystemet, enligt vilket varje kommun är skyldig att stimulera lokal ekonomisk utveckling i samarbete med det lokal näringslivet och andra civilsamhälleliga aktörer. Den syftar även till att utveckla den samhällsvetenskapliga teorin ifråga om hur samhällsstyrning (governance) ska begreppsligöras och förstås. Avhandlingen argumenterar för att stat, marknad och civilsamhälle, det vill säga offentliga, privata och civilsamhälleliga aktörer, ska ses som komponenter konstituerade av en och samma formella institutionella ordning snarare om som... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Avhandlingen utreder några av konsekvenserna av de institutionella reformer som genomfördes i Sydafrika under 1990-talet, med särskilt fokus på det nya kommunsystemet, enligt vilket varje kommun är skyldig att stimulera lokal ekonomisk utveckling i samarbete med det lokal näringslivet och andra civilsamhälleliga aktörer. Den syftar även till att utveckla den samhällsvetenskapliga teorin ifråga om hur samhällsstyrning (governance) ska begreppsligöras och förstås. Avhandlingen argumenterar för att stat, marknad och civilsamhälle, det vill säga offentliga, privata och civilsamhälleliga aktörer, ska ses som komponenter konstituerade av en och samma formella institutionella ordning snarare om som separata samhällssfärer, vilket är vanligt inom samhällsteorin. För att kunna analysera samhällsstyrning är det nödvändigt att kunna förklara varför aktörer agerar enligt olika handlingslogiker i olika institutionella sammanhang. Den teoretiska utgångspunkten är att samhällslivet består av en mängd sociala situationer i vilka människor agerar enligt i olika roller, kopplade till olika handlingslogiker, i enlighet med olika repertoarer av ömsesidigt accepterade situationsdefinitioner, vilka i denna avhandling kallas för transaktionsdomäner. Begreppet avser en ömsesidigt överenskommen situationsdefinition enligt vilken en given handlingslogik betraktas som socialt accepterad. Utifrån detta perspektiv uppstår samhällen som institutionella ordningar när ett tillräckligt stort antal människor etablerar domän konsensus, definierat som en allmän acceptans av en uppsättning transaktionsdomäner. Studien utgår från att samhällsstyrning förutsätter att domän konsensus etablerats kring en uppsättning formella institutioner. Det samhällstyrningssystem som infördes i Sydafrika under 1990-talet fastställer att lokala privata och civilsamhälleliga aktörer ska samarbeta med den offentliga sektorn för att främja socioekonomisk utveckling. Avhandlingen undersöker hur lokala offentliga och privata aktörer samarbetat kring planering och implementering av olika utvecklingsprojekt. Tre olika typer av utfall upptäcktes. I det första fallet, synergi, var de olika parterna ömsesidigt beroende av varandra. Dessutom etablerade de domänkonsensus och kunde därigenom komplettera varandra genom hela planerings- och implementeringskedjan. I den andra typen av utfall, stillestånd, etablerades inte domänkonsensus och de involverade aktörerna var inte ömsesidigt beroende av varandra. Följaktligen avstannade implementeringsprocessen. I den tredje typen av utfall, socialt dilemma, ledde utvecklingsinterventionen till en konflikt i lokalsamhället. I frånvaron av domänkonsensus och väl etablerade formella institutioner agerade såväl privata som offentliga aktörer som var involverade i projektet bortom det formella regelverket. Avhandlingen konstaterar att införandet av denna planerings- och implementeringsmodell kan ha bidragit till att göra kommunerna oförutsägbara eftersom det implicit vilar på ett antagande om att domänkonsensus föreligger. (Less)
Abstract
This thesis focuses on the consequences of the institutional transformations in South Africa during the 1990s with specific reference to the introduction of a mode of local governance based on the direct participation of private and civic actors in policymaking and implementation. The study also aims to contribute to theory. The approach is that public, private and civic associations are best understood as components of the same formal institutional order rather than as distinct institutional spheres, with the focus on governance, defined as the coordination and conciliation of interdependent activities via institutions. In order to analyse governance, it is necessary to explain why actors draw on different logics of action in different... (More)
This thesis focuses on the consequences of the institutional transformations in South Africa during the 1990s with specific reference to the introduction of a mode of local governance based on the direct participation of private and civic actors in policymaking and implementation. The study also aims to contribute to theory. The approach is that public, private and civic associations are best understood as components of the same formal institutional order rather than as distinct institutional spheres, with the focus on governance, defined as the coordination and conciliation of interdependent activities via institutions. In order to analyse governance, it is necessary to explain why actors draw on different logics of action in different institutional contexts. The assumption is that social life consists of various situations in which people invoke different roles prescribing different repertoires of socially acceptable practices applicable to different situations. Such mutually agreed-upon situation definitions are here called transaction domains, denoting a mu-tually agreed-upon definition of a situation according to which a particular logic of interaction, exchange or decision-making is considered socially acceptable. From this perspective, societies, i.e. large aggregations of actors, may appear like coherent ontological entities if a sufficient number of people establish domain consensus, defined as a general acceptance of a set of transaction domains. In order to achieve governance in contemporary societies, most actors and organizations have to accept and rely upon some formal institutions. The new democratic governance framework, introduced in South Africa during the 1990s, stipulates that local private and civic sector representatives are to work in partnership with the public sector representatives to promote socio-economic development. In the wake of this framework three types of outcomes were triggered in the case study localities. In the first type of outcome, synergy, the nodes in the network shared similar situation definitions, allowing domain consensus to be reached; they could thereby establish complementary relationships in the entire planning and implementation chain. In the second type of outcome, stalemate, the nodes did not identify with a shared sense of interdependence and domain consensus was not reached. As a result, the planning and implementation process deadlocked. In the third type of outcome, social dilemma, the establishment of a public-private link, through which development funds were channeled, triggered discontent in the local community on the part of those citizens who did not gain access to funding. The lack of domain consensus and well-established formal procedures drew the public and private actors involved in the resulting conflicts into a pattern of interaction in which they employed informal methods to pursue their conflicting objectives. On the basis of these case study results, supported by other studies, the thesis contends that the introduction of a networked model of governance in South Africa made local governments appear unpredictable. The South African local government framework tacitly requires both domain and goal consensus, since planning and implementation need to involve a high number of public and private actors located on different levels of society. (Less)
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author
supervisor
opponent
  • Edward S. Mason Professor Grindle, Merilee S., Center for International Development, John F. Kennedy School of government, Harvard University
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
development, the state-society relationship, public participation, political theory, governance, Eastern Cape, South Africa, apartheid, decentralisation
pages
248 pages
publisher
Olle Frödin, Department of Sociology, Lund University
defense location
Kulturens auditorium
defense date
2008-12-12 09:15
ISBN
978-91-633-3755-0
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
7fc99352-0331-4719-bbde-3411fb35de91 (old id 1267844)
date added to LUP
2008-11-18 19:04:37
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:01
@phdthesis{7fc99352-0331-4719-bbde-3411fb35de91,
  abstract     = {This thesis focuses on the consequences of the institutional transformations in South Africa during the 1990s with specific reference to the introduction of a mode of local governance based on the direct participation of private and civic actors in policymaking and implementation. The study also aims to contribute to theory. The approach is that public, private and civic associations are best understood as components of the same formal institutional order rather than as distinct institutional spheres, with the focus on governance, defined as the coordination and conciliation of interdependent activities via institutions. In order to analyse governance, it is necessary to explain why actors draw on different logics of action in different institutional contexts. The assumption is that social life consists of various situations in which people invoke different roles prescribing different repertoires of socially acceptable practices applicable to different situations. Such mutually agreed-upon situation definitions are here called transaction domains, denoting a mu-tually agreed-upon definition of a situation according to which a particular logic of interaction, exchange or decision-making is considered socially acceptable. From this perspective, societies, i.e. large aggregations of actors, may appear like coherent ontological entities if a sufficient number of people establish domain consensus, defined as a general acceptance of a set of transaction domains. In order to achieve governance in contemporary societies, most actors and organizations have to accept and rely upon some formal institutions. The new democratic governance framework, introduced in South Africa during the 1990s, stipulates that local private and civic sector representatives are to work in partnership with the public sector representatives to promote socio-economic development. In the wake of this framework three types of outcomes were triggered in the case study localities. In the first type of outcome, synergy, the nodes in the network shared similar situation definitions, allowing domain consensus to be reached; they could thereby establish complementary relationships in the entire planning and implementation chain. In the second type of outcome, stalemate, the nodes did not identify with a shared sense of interdependence and domain consensus was not reached. As a result, the planning and implementation process deadlocked. In the third type of outcome, social dilemma, the establishment of a public-private link, through which development funds were channeled, triggered discontent in the local community on the part of those citizens who did not gain access to funding. The lack of domain consensus and well-established formal procedures drew the public and private actors involved in the resulting conflicts into a pattern of interaction in which they employed informal methods to pursue their conflicting objectives. On the basis of these case study results, supported by other studies, the thesis contends that the introduction of a networked model of governance in South Africa made local governments appear unpredictable. The South African local government framework tacitly requires both domain and goal consensus, since planning and implementation need to involve a high number of public and private actors located on different levels of society.},
  author       = {Frödin, Olle},
  isbn         = {978-91-633-3755-0},
  keyword      = {development,the state-society relationship,public participation,political theory,governance,Eastern Cape,South Africa,apartheid,decentralisation},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {248},
  publisher    = {Olle Frödin, Department of Sociology, Lund University},
  school       = {Lund University},
  title        = {Synergies, Stalemates and Social Dilemmas. Governance in South Africa in Comparative Perspective},
  year         = {2008},
}