18 Pages


The Power Narrative and Its Counternarrative, the Politics of Complexity
ByEmery Roe

This conclusion presents some closing thoughts on the concepts discussed in the preceding chapters of this book. The book provides a good example of the distinctions at work in African development studies that has been the expatriate advisor. Surprise and unpredictability, as organization theorists are fond of reminding us, are the principal features of the kind of complexity found in African rural development. African studies, like African politics, is dominated by narratives of power. Politics is no longer centered around power, but rather around complexity and uncertainty such as drive African rural development. The literature on African politics and development has been quite clear on insisting that the ruler-and-the-ruled is only one subset of the relations between the powerful and the powerless. The distaste that many power advocates in African studies have for working in or with government, a.k.a. the state, is palpable.