Beyond the facade of formal statehood
Understanding the nature of states in Africa and how they work is of crucial importance when analyzing the many challenges African states currently face. In this report, while using the Central African and the Democratic Republic of Congo as case studies, we argue that to grasp realities in Africa we must be able to look beyond the official state façade. We must look further than merely to formal institutions and authorities of power; we must look into the ”shadows” and networks of informal character to be able to identify links between state and society. In so doing we can identify influential, yet informal, actors of power that may not always be visible at first sight. We argue that understanding how informal networks can be the true centers of power rather than the formal ones is of crucial importance when analyzing the logic of African states.
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