The Competing Interests of Local Political Actors in the Making of Local Government in Ghana

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Matthew Sabbi


There have been enormous institutional reforms in the Ghanaian local public administration with the stated aim of the active  participation of local actors in the development of decision-making.  Yet the institution-building discourse and practice do not often  emphasize the role of local political actors in the institution-building  and development processes. Indeed, the roles played by these local  political actors, viz. assembly members, who shape and negotiate  the institutional reform processes have not been properly explained  and our understanding on how they influence the task of the local  administration remains limited. This paper analyzes the roles played  by these actors and the extent to which they shape the local public  administration and its institution-building processes. Empirical data  from two local government structures in Ghana show how these local  political actors, straddling between the twilight of their private-political  interests and the local administrative structures, exert pressure,  lobby but also contest bureaucrats who perform the everyday tasks of  their local governments. This complex interaction of actors and their  interests makes the tasks of the local public administration difficult and  the very idea of institutional change remains increasingly problematic. 

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SABBI, Matthew. The Competing Interests of Local Political Actors in the Making of Local Government in Ghana. Modern Africa: Politics, History and Society, [S.l.], v. 3, n. 1, p. 11-37, may 2015. ISSN 2570-7558. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 28 feb. 2021.