By Brenda Chalfin
In Neoliberal Frontiers, Brenda Chalfin provides an ethnographic exam of the day by day practices of the officers of Ghana’s Customs provider, exploring the effect of neoliberal restructuring and integration into the worldwide economic climate on Ghanaian sovereignty. From the disclosing vantage aspect of the Customs place of work, Chalfin discovers a desirable inversion of our assumptions approximately neoliberal transformation: bureaucrats and native functionaries, govt places of work, checkpoints, and registries tend to be held to be the objectives of reform, yet Chalfin reveals that those figures and websites of authority act because the engine for adjustments in kingdom sovereignty. Ghana has served as a version of reform for the neoliberal institution, making it a great website for Chalfin to discover why the restructuring of a nation at the worldwide outer edge portends shifts that take place in all corners of the area. straight away a foray into overseas political economic system, politics, and political anthropology, Neoliberal Frontiers is an cutting edge interdisciplinary step forward for ethnographic writing, in addition to an eloquent addition to the literature on postcolonial Africa.
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Extra info for Neoliberal Frontiers: An Ethnography of Sovereignty in West Africa
The insights and ellipses that come with this stance will become clear in the chapters to follow. 18 Part one One Customs as Effective Sovereign: State Logics across Time and Place Introduction: The Genealogy of the Ghana Customs Service Ghana Customs, Excise and Preventive Service traces its roots to the very earliest days of British colonial rule in the Gold Coast. This began in 1828 when the responsibility for financial administration of British settlements and trading posts along this stretch of West Africa’s Atlantic coast was ceded to a committee of London merchants.
Heightening the strain between Customs administrative headquarters and Customs officers and operations at the frontier, these contentions are evident in the rising number of disciplinary measures meted out by the Customs commissioner in the name of donor mandated anticorruption programs. Stemming from the same democratizing impulses, it can also be seen in the government’s contradictory efforts to purge the state of older military tendencies and simultaneously build Customs military capacities through a generalized mandate of force and the assignment of paramilitary loyalists to Customs offices.
Specifically, the worldwide revival of Customs appears to reflect a neoliberal vision of government minimis, where states’ regulatory capacities are consolidated within a single body geared to the promotion and management of international investments and commercial flows while other arenas of government are cut or streamlined. In this vein, Customs transformations reflect a related global project of standardization and integration inspired by the direct and indirect interventions of a host of international organiÂ�zations and supranational powerbrokers committed to the tenets of multilateralism.