"Even if I am not here, there are so many eyes": surveillance and state reach in Rwanda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

59 Citations (Scopus)
102 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Based on seven months of fieldwork research, the present article explores the nature and ‘reach’ of the state in post-genocide Rwanda, and its effects on decentralisation, participation and assertion of voice at the local level. Rwanda as a case of a ‘strong’ African state is explored through a number of lenses: the vertical structure (administrative and information apparatuses of the state); the lateral structure (multiple responsibilities, imihigo, indirect control); the spectrum of state-led ‘local’ activities; and, last but not least, the ‘counterweights’ to the state. The article suggests an increasing penetration of state in terms of surveillance as well as exactions (couched in terms of umusanzu or contribution) and control over voice at local level. Decentralisation amounts to mere ‘dispatching of control’, making central power more, not less, effective.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-497
JournalThe Journal of Modern African Studies
Volume49
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Fingerprint

Rwanda
decentralization
surveillance
genocide
administrative framework
fieldwork
administrative structure
penetration
responsibility
participation
effect

Cite this

"Even if I am not here, there are so many eyes": surveillance and state reach in Rwanda. / Purdekova, Andrea.

In: The Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol. 49, No. 3, 2011, p. 473-497.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{c14f1b1aad0d48389bf605df95b26929,
title = "{"}Even if I am not here, there are so many eyes{"}: surveillance and state reach in Rwanda",
abstract = "Based on seven months of fieldwork research, the present article explores the nature and ‘reach’ of the state in post-genocide Rwanda, and its effects on decentralisation, participation and assertion of voice at the local level. Rwanda as a case of a ‘strong’ African state is explored through a number of lenses: the vertical structure (administrative and information apparatuses of the state); the lateral structure (multiple responsibilities, imihigo, indirect control); the spectrum of state-led ‘local’ activities; and, last but not least, the ‘counterweights’ to the state. The article suggests an increasing penetration of state in terms of surveillance as well as exactions (couched in terms of umusanzu or contribution) and control over voice at local level. Decentralisation amounts to mere ‘dispatching of control’, making central power more, not less, effective.",
author = "Andrea Purdekova",
year = "2011",
doi = "10.1017/S0022278X11000292",
language = "English",
volume = "49",
pages = "473--497",
journal = "The Journal of Modern African Studies",
issn = "0022-278X",
publisher = "Cambridge University Press",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - "Even if I am not here, there are so many eyes": surveillance and state reach in Rwanda

AU - Purdekova, Andrea

PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

N2 - Based on seven months of fieldwork research, the present article explores the nature and ‘reach’ of the state in post-genocide Rwanda, and its effects on decentralisation, participation and assertion of voice at the local level. Rwanda as a case of a ‘strong’ African state is explored through a number of lenses: the vertical structure (administrative and information apparatuses of the state); the lateral structure (multiple responsibilities, imihigo, indirect control); the spectrum of state-led ‘local’ activities; and, last but not least, the ‘counterweights’ to the state. The article suggests an increasing penetration of state in terms of surveillance as well as exactions (couched in terms of umusanzu or contribution) and control over voice at local level. Decentralisation amounts to mere ‘dispatching of control’, making central power more, not less, effective.

AB - Based on seven months of fieldwork research, the present article explores the nature and ‘reach’ of the state in post-genocide Rwanda, and its effects on decentralisation, participation and assertion of voice at the local level. Rwanda as a case of a ‘strong’ African state is explored through a number of lenses: the vertical structure (administrative and information apparatuses of the state); the lateral structure (multiple responsibilities, imihigo, indirect control); the spectrum of state-led ‘local’ activities; and, last but not least, the ‘counterweights’ to the state. The article suggests an increasing penetration of state in terms of surveillance as well as exactions (couched in terms of umusanzu or contribution) and control over voice at local level. Decentralisation amounts to mere ‘dispatching of control’, making central power more, not less, effective.

UR - https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022278X11000292

U2 - 10.1017/S0022278X11000292

DO - 10.1017/S0022278X11000292

M3 - Article

VL - 49

SP - 473

EP - 497

JO - The Journal of Modern African Studies

JF - The Journal of Modern African Studies

SN - 0022-278X

IS - 3

ER -