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Look Inside Councils in Action

Councils in Action


Part of Cambridge Papers in Social Anthropology

Audrey Richards, Adam Kuper, Maurice Bloch, G. I. Jones, A. F. Robertson, Paul Spencer, R. G. Abrahams
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  • Date Published: June 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521113410

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About the Authors
  • A collection of seven papers by social anthropologists on the processes of decision-making in councils. Types of council described are one community-in-council, two arena councils, an elite council, two modern local government councils and a non-council, a temporary negotiating group which nevertheless displays certain features of the council proper. Most of the examples come from Africa (including Madagascar), but there is also an account of politics and decision-making in an English town council. The editors discuss the papers in a comparative framework, considering also other accounts of conciliar structure and decision-making. They review the ways in which decisions are reached and implemented in societies with very different structures and activities and discuss the impact of written records, colonial overrule and political independence. They attempt to outline some general principles of conciliar structure and process.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521113410
    • length: 224 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.34kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Contributors to this issue
    1. The nature of the problem Audrey Richards
    2. Council structure and decision-making Adam Kuper
    3. Decision-making in Councils among the Merina of Madagascar Maurice Bloch
    4. Councils among the Central Ibo G. I. Jones
    5. The Kgalagari Lekgota Adam Kuper
    6. The conciliar system of the Bemba in Northern Zambia Audrey Richards
    7. The development of town communities in Ahafo, Western Ghana A. F. Robertson
    8. Party politics and the processes of local democracy in an English town council Paul Spencer
    9. Reaching agreement over Bridewealth in Labwor, Northern Uganda: a case study R. G. Abrahams

  • Editors

    Audrey Richards

    Adam Kuper


    Audrey Richards, Adam Kuper, Maurice Bloch, G. I. Jones, A. F. Robertson, Paul Spencer, R. G. Abrahams

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