Panel at the African Centre for Cities International Urban Conference
In the African context, research on traditional authorities has historically focused on cultural and political influence of these leaders as guardians of tribal customs and laws. Scholarly treatment of traditional leadership has often been framed in the context of rural development or colonial history (Beall et al 2005; Buur and Kyed 2007). This discourse has looked at traditional authorities in relation to the new political systems and administrative architectures of the post independent African state (Logan 2008; Logan 2009; Goodfellow and Lindemann 2013). However, in the 21st century as African cities rapidly expand their geographical and administrative footprints, traditional authorities have traversed the rural boundary and have become significant actors in urban spaces. Given the scale and pace of urbanisation on the African continent, the role of traditional authorities in the urban context has been given insufficient attention. Traditional authorities in the form of Kings, Oba, Kgosi, chiefs, Ohene, Amakhosi - all play a critical role in the physical development of urban spaces. The wide array of social and cultural contexts across the African continent requires scholars to pay attention to similarities and differences in how traditional authorities operate both within and outside of urban environments. This panel will seek to interrogate the ways traditional authorities operate in and influence the growth of urbanizing centres. A focus will be on examining the formal and informal roles of traditional authorities in the distribution of resources such as land and the changing landscape of governance. It will also encourage discussion on the extent to which these authorities have been incorporated into administrative structures and the ways that this supports or frustrates urban development.
We welcome papers focusing on different cities on the African continent from diverse disciplinary, theoretical and methodological perspectives.This call is for panellists offering papers on the following areas of traditional authorities in urban centres:
- Citizen perceptions of chiefs in urban and peri-urban areas;
- The role of chiefs in the governance of administrative territories;
- The role of chiefs in urbanization;
- The influence of chiefs in urban public life
- Traditional leadership and public participation at the city scale
The panel proposal will include papers followed by a roundtable discussion and questions from the audience.
Abstracts should include:
1) The focus: Themes, underlying hypothesis, empirical and/or theoretical basis, structure of the paper
2) Word count: 300-500 words.
3) Contact information of the author(s): Name(s), affiliation(s), address (including postcode), a phone number (will not be made public) and an e-mail address
Please direct questions about this call to Ntombini Marrengane
Contact Info: Ntombini Marrengane, African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town
Contact Email: ntombini.marrengane at uct.ac.za