The normativity of numbers in practice: Technologies of counting, accounting and auditing in Malawi's civil service reform

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Contemporary technologies of governing employed in international development rely on the normativity of numbers, and their use of numbers and collection, as conditions for financial support by international financial institutions. This article examines how the normativity of numbers worked in practice during the implementation of civil service reform in Malawi. It reveals a contradiction between the lofty rhetoric of greater efficiency and transparency achieved through the introduction of new technologies and the messy realities of everyday bureaucratic practices, corruption and haphazard implementation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-41
Number of pages13
JournalSocial Anthropology
Volume23
Issue number1
Early online date26 Feb 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2015

Keywords

  • neoliberalism
  • international development
  • governance
  • corruption
  • Africa
  • numbers

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