MISR Seminar: Elections, Incorporation, and the politics of Informality in Kampala, Uganda

Event Date
Wednesday, 18 July 2018 - 2:15pm
Event Info

Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR) cordially invites you to a seminar to be given by Dr. Adam R Culver, Faculty member at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA.

TITLE: Relays of Power: Elections, Incorporation, and the politics of Informality in Kampala, Uganda.

ABSTRACT: Why did President Museveni lose the backing of Kampala's boda-boda (motorcycle taxi) drivers, a group that was previously his most important and reliable base of urban support? This study relates the shifting significance of boda-boda politics in Kampala to the governmental rationalities and modes of rule that have shaped _political life in Museveni's Uganda. I suggest that we can understand the recent reconfiguration of boda-boda politics as the effect of a desire for political community that has been frustrated by key aspects of the Museveni government's efforts to generate and govern consent. Although the concept of "informality" is generally used to refer to economic activities that elude state regulation and control, I contend that, at least in this instance, informality is actively produced by the state in ways that disrupt associational life, undermine capacities for autonomous organisation, and distort the meaning of citizenship. Ultimately, informalisation functions as an instrument of rule that constitutes a political domain in which the rule of law is largely absent, patronage networks predominate, and relations of subjection and dependence are secured.

Copies of the paper may be collected from the MISR library.

The event is open to the public.

For more information, please call: 02003052000 or visit the MISR website at the link below


Event Venue
Seminar Room 1, Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda
Category by Unit
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Contact Info
Contact Info: 
Communications Officer, Makerere Institute of Social Research, Email: communications[at]misr.mak.ac.ug, Tel: 02003052000/0414532838/0414554582