Making contracts public in Ngaoundéré, Cameroon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

International agendas around the promotion of good governance and the fight against corruption have translated into numerous reform processes across the world. As a result, public contracts have become objects of intense scrutiny. In spite of their role in shaping urban infrastructure and their salience in the experience of urban residents, public contracts have received scant ethnographic attention. Drawing on long‐term fieldwork in a context marked by evolving ideals of what is civic and what is civil, this article explores how public officials and contractors based in Ngaoundéré, a city in the north of Cameroon, have in the last decade engaged shifting bureaucratic procedures. Cameroon's public contracting system is the result of ongoing cycles of reform that have supplemented intense legislative production with campaigns, seminars, and workshops aimed at enlarging the publics of public contracts. The article reflects on the intersections of two processes: that of contracting works through a set of distinctive procedures that have been designed to safeguard public interest and that of creating a public for this type of contracts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-195
Number of pages21
JournalCity and Society
Volume26
Issue number2
Early online date12 Aug 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2014

Keywords

  • public contracts
  • good governance
  • soft law
  • Cameroon

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