Who brings the water? Negotiating state responsibility in water sector reform in Niger.
Doctoral thesis, 2013
For over 40 years the water sector in Niger has been subject to constant reform reflecting and accompanying general changes in the construction of the role of the state in provision of public services. This is a process that has closely followed different movements in what can be called glo-bal development discourse. Due to dependence on external funds, con-temporary reforms continue to be shaped by development cooperation, to a large extent dominated by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRSP), and the Paris Declarat-ion on aid effectiveness.
This thesis explores how Nigerien state agents articulate state re-sponsibility in the water sector, thus shaping how policy and practice is conceived of. The aim is to better understand the possibility for Nigerien state responsibility in water service provision in a context of heavy de-pendence on aid.
The main body of the thesis is based on interviews made with 27 Ni-gerien state agents in the water sector, as well as on participation in state-donor meetings and workshops between 2007 and 2010. It is argued in the thesis that in order to understand effects of power it does not suffice to analyse governing logics but we have to pay closer attention to the agency of being governed. Meaning, in this case, how the state agents constitute themselves as responsible subjects. The thesis approaches state agent subjectivities through narrative method, analysing how they narrate themselves and the state temporally in terms of choice and control in ways that shape how responsibility is understood. As such the thesis ex-plores the way in which state agents translate the responsibilising logics of development cooperation as well as how they constitute themselves as ethical subjects in relation to the population.
the state in Africa