Working Paper 149

The Interaction of Global and Local Models of Governance: new configurations of power in Upper Guinea Coast societies

Christian K. Højbjerg, Jacqueline Knörr, Anita Schroven

Department ‘Integration and Conflict’

Year of publication

Number of pages

Wokring Paper 149

This paper studies emerging power configurations in post-conflict and no-peace-no-war Upper Guinea Coast societies. These result from current interactions of global and local models of governance. With empirical data on shifting meanings of chieftaincy and control of land, changing tax regimes, and the rising importance of youth in domestic politics, shifts in authority and legitimacy of rule across time are contrasted with the effects of international interventions and global discourses on socio-political change. It becomes evident that some of these interventions accelerate, others accentuate or counteract, processes of change within local power configurations. Only by carefully considering the innate malleability of local concepts of authority, history, and tradition may contemporary processes of change be identified as either mere re-configurations or genuinely new configurations of power.

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