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After Ujamaa?

Cultures of Governance and the Representation of Power in Tanzania

Maia Green

This article explores some cultural dimensions of governance in Tanzania in the context of transnational efforts to establish a vibrant civil society as part of the democratization agenda. Far from providing alternative modalities of political organization intermediate between the family and the state, the newly established community organizations formed in response to donor initiatives actually replicate social relations and practices associated with government. Governance as a cultural practice in Tanzania enacts the hierarchical relations between lower and higher tiers in models premised on the conceptualization of the village as both object and lowest level of government. Parallels between civil society models of governance and those associated with local governance are explained by identical vertical relations between donors and rural residents, and by shared expectations about the performance of power.