Journal article

De-judicialization, Outsourced Review and All-too-flexible Bureaucracies in South African Land Restitution

    2015
Published in:
  • The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology. - Berghahn. - 2015, vol. 33, no. 1, p. 81-96
English This article takes as its starting point a peculiar land claim within the ongoing South African land restitution process – more specifically, the legal and administrative technicalities that allowed for the implosion of the accompanying court case in the Land Claims Court – to open up a space for reflection on the ambiguous nature of state bureaucracies as ambiguity-reducing machines. Tracing the specificities of bureaucratic attempts at foreclosing ambiguities and insufficiencies in state practice, I show how a reorientation towards the new public goods of ‘service delivery’, ‘transparency’ and ‘accountability’ brought about a pronounced regime of performance indicators and de-judicialized bureaucratic flexibility. Demonstrating how these attempts to reduce ambiguities created new zones of ambiguity and unaccountability of their own, I argue for a post-Weberian analysis of the path-dependent realities of ‘bureaucratic authority’ to help us understand the seemingly arbitrary structural violence that state bureaucracies often enact.
Faculty
Faculté des lettres et des sciences humaines
Department
Département des sciences sociales
Language
  • English
Classification
Anthropology, ethnography
License
License undefined
Identifiers
Persistent URL
https://folia.unifr.ch/unifr/documents/305450
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