19.1 Handling democratic systems: Daily functions of police, courts and local councils in rural Uganda, Eastern Africa

Wednesday, August 1, 2012: 9:00 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Soichiro SHIRAISHI , Nairobi Research Station, Japan Society for the Promotion of Sciense, Nairobi, Kenya
Handling Democratic Systems: Daily functions of police, courts and Local Councils in rural Uganda, Eastern Africa


JSPS Nairobi Research Station

Key words: indigenous institutions, partial use/divert of democratic systems, pushing back resolutions, rural Africa

How democratic systems work in pre-industrial societies like rural Africa?  A number of ethnographies of social anthropology compiled interpretations of indigenous institutions or social norms which are effective in the scenes of decision making in each society --- some researchers called them as “bureaucracy” or “gerontocracy”.  Today, international development agents evaluate these indigenous institutions and utilize them for local governance in many African countries that promoted de-centralization as a part of their democratization.  Although it is easy to say this phenomenon as exploitation of indigenous institutions by global policies, the local people will also utilize and divert those “democratic” systems partly, sometimes they try to connect up to their indigenous institutions.  In many cases, such they don’t have ultimate power for sanctions tend to do that, but they will not entirely included in that democratic systems.  The core of this kind of their art is “coping with uncertainty by pushing back resolutions”.  They utilize outer power which belongs to those democratic systems to handle their disputes and other matters on the one hand, while on the other they keep the matter problematic, remain the agenda on their own hands to be discussed anytime in future.  I will clarify this kind of art by the case description of a peasant society in Uganda.