"Policy Portfolio without a Definite Livelihood" Ghanaian Local Politicians' Struggle between Survival Tactics and Everyday Policy Making
Projektbeginn: 1. Mai 2017
In designing local political programmes for socio-economic change in Ghana, local politicians assume a prominent role, at least in intent. However, the exact status of local politicians still ambivalent. They legislate specific pro-poor development policies for their constituents – as wellinformed development actors in their communities who are competent to prescribe solutions for local problems. Yet, while all programmes of local institution-building are linked to the critique of corruption, the question of poor remuneration of local politicians is often neglected by reformers and practitioners. Despite the meagre remuneration from their honorary, constituents still see their local legislators as economically well-off hence placing enormous financial and social expectations on them. Paradoxically, bureaucrats in the local administration often perceive them as out of touch with local policy priorities. With these ambiguities, local politicians must frequently strive to articulate their policy competence with simultaneous struggles and strategies to address those expectations. These tactics inevitably place them in the hands of political elites who exploit them to enhance their interests in the policy arena. Thus, the local legislators could be effectively excluded from local policy decisions. We know very little about studies that link local political programmes to the livelihoods of actors who make these policies. This study interrogates how the role ambiguities and livelihood sources shape the everyday local policy making. The approach adopted in this study joins actororiented institutional arguments with livelihood analysis. Together with empirical data from socioeconomic survey and in-depth interviews, the study will uncover the everyday politics and realities of local political programmes that seek socio-economic transformation in the Global South.