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Allies or Adversaries
NGOs and the State in Africa


Award Winner
  • Date Published: November 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316615034

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About the Authors
  • Governments throughout the developing world have witnessed a proliferation of non-governmental, non-profit organizations (NGOs) providing services like education, healthcare and piped drinking water in their territory. In Allies or Adversaries, Jennifer N. Brass explains how these NGOs have changed the nature of service provision, governance, and state development in the early twenty-first century. Analyzing original surveys alongside interviews with public officials, NGOs and citizens, Brass traces street-level government-NGO and state-society relations in rural, town and city settings of Kenya. She examines several case studies of NGOs within Africa in order to demonstrate how the boundary between purely state and non-state actors blurs, resulting in a very slow turn toward more accountable and democratic public service administration. Ideal for scholars, international development practitioners, and students interested in global or international affairs, this detailed analysis provides rich data about NGO-government and citizen-state interactions in an accessible and original manner.

    • Provides in-depth and detailed case studies of NGOs within Kenya and explores how these differ from those located elsewhere
    • Appeals to multiple types of data and analysis, making it accessible to both qualitative and quantitative scholars, as well as practitioners
    • Differs from the standard literature on the topic by offering 'on-the-ground' views of NGOs, taking data from rural or small town situations where most NGOs actually implement their work, rather than from just a national level
    Read more


    • Winner, 2018 Outstanding Book Award, Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316615034
    • length: 291 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 151 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.45kg
    • contains: 8 b/w illus. 27 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of figures and tables
    1. NGOs and state development
    2. Theorizing NGOs and the state: territoriality, governance, capacity, legitimacy
    3. Kenya as case study: historical portraits of NGOs and the state
    4. Territoriality: NGOs and the broadcasting of state power
    5. NGOs' role in governance: changing patterns of policymaking and implementation
    6. NGOs, service provision and administrative capacity: isomorphism through learning in the civil service
    7. Have NGOs decreased perceptions of state legitimacy over time?
    8. NGOs: increase state legitimacy or undermine popular support?
    9. Blurring the boundaries between NGOs and the state: a comparative analysis

  • Author

    Jennifer N. Brass, Indiana University, Bloomington
    Jennifer N. Brass is a professor at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, Bloomington. Brass was a 2015 recipient of the Indiana University-wide Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, and has received awards from the African Politics Conference Group at the American Political Science Association and from the International Society for Third-Sector Research. Brass has completed field research in Senegal, Kenya, Djibouti and Uganda and has conducted trainings for the US State Department, the US armed services, and the private sector.


    • Winner, 2018 Outstanding Book Award, Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action

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