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This article examines the dynamics of fragmentation and integration in Accra’s water infrastructure. Inspired by figurational sociology, we analyze infrastructure as both reflective and constitutive of interdependencies between different class fractions and parts of the urban region. We draw on historical archives, the in‐depth ethnographic study o...
While forms of authority that descend from social or cultural tradition are commonly understood as archaic, traditional authorities often survive and occasionally even thrive during the formation of modern states. Chieftaincies do not only endure in the Ghanaian countryside but also proliferate in new neighbourhoods on the peripheries of Ghana’s fa...
Why do residents in rapidly growing cities succeed or fail to secure amenities required for their health, dignity, and comfort? While engineers might see this as a technical question, this project focuses on the social relations that form through the setting up and governing of amenities for clean water, waste disposal, and public space. The provision of these amenities, of paramount importance to people’s lives and prominent on the policy agendas of governments and development agencies, is patchy and checkered, especially in the rapidly growing cities of the developing world. Charting and explaining the uneven development of amenities is therefore a vital task. The project uses extensive meta-reviews of the literature and detailed case studies of Accra (Ghana) and Istanbul (Turkey) to identify the conditions and mechanisms that explain why some people and places have privileged access to high-quality amenities while other people and places do not. Theoretically, it extends Elias’s figurational sociology by considering how stakeholders organize space in their efforts to solve collective action problems and effectuate in-/exclusion.