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Publications (5 of 5) Show all publications
Jennische, U. (2024). Navigating conflicting moral temporalities: gradual growth, state sovereignty and small-scale trade in urban Ghana. Journal for Contemporary African Studies
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Navigating conflicting moral temporalities: gradual growth, state sovereignty and small-scale trade in urban Ghana
2024 (English)In: Journal for Contemporary African Studies, ISSN 0258-9001, E-ISSN 1469-9397Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

This article delves into the moral economy that informs small-scale trade in urban Ghana's growing markets, and that intersects with development, the state, and the global economy. Small-small, emphasizes slow, gradual, dependable progress and inclusiveness. While (re)distributing profit and possibilities, small-small is also used to discredit competitors and is felt to inhibit personal growth. It furthermore often conflicts with neoliberal norms of self-governing and self-optimization. Drawing from fieldwork in Tamale, the study explores how morality intertwines with market dynamics, the nation-state, and politics of informality. Moral economy illuminates the temporal tensions between individual and collective gains against the backdrop of local economic practices and global capitalism. It underscores the moral underpinnings of protectionism and sovereignty amid neoliberal shifts, revealing complex interactions shaping economic life in urban Ghana.

Keywords
Moral economy, Ghana, informality, neoliberalism, temporality
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-227703 (URN)10.1080/02589001.2024.2320761 (DOI)001187052800001 ()2-s2.0-85188447755 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2024-04-02 Created: 2024-04-02 Last updated: 2024-04-02
Jennische, U. & Sörbom, A. (2023). Governing anticipation: UNESCO making humankind futures literate. Journal of Organizational Ethnography, 12(1), 105-119
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Governing anticipation: UNESCO making humankind futures literate
2023 (English)In: Journal of Organizational Ethnography, ISSN 2046-6749, E-ISSN 2046-6757, Vol. 12, no 1, p. 105-119Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose - This paper explores practices of foresight within the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) program Futures Literacy, as a form of transnational governmentality–founded on the interests of “using the future” by “emancipating” the minds of humanity.

Design/methodology/approach - The paper draws on ethnographic material gathered over five years within the industry of futures consultancy, including UNESCO and its network of self-recognized futurists. The material consists of written sources, participant observation in on-site and digital events and workshops, and interviews.

Findings - Building on Foucault's (1991) concept of governmentality, which refers to the governing of governing and how subjects politically come into being, this paper critically examines the UNESCO Futures Literacy program by answering questions on ontology, deontology, technology and utopia. It shows how the underlying rationale of the Futures Literacy program departs from an ontological premise of anticipation as a fundamental capacity of biological life, constituting an ethical substance that can be worked on and self-controlled. This rationale speaks to the mandate of UNESCO, to foster peace in our minds, but also to the governing of governing at the individual level.

Originality/value - In the intersection between the growing literature on anticipation and research concerning governmentality the paper adds ethnographically based knowledge to the field of transnational governance. Earlier ethnographic studies of UNESCO have mostly focused upon its role for cultural heritage, or more broadly neoliberal forms of governing.

Keywords
Governmentality, UNESCO, Ethnography, Anticipation, Emancipation
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-207857 (URN)10.1108/JOE-10-2021-0055 (DOI)000815260500001 ()2-s2.0-85132899526 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2022-08-18 Created: 2022-08-18 Last updated: 2023-04-17Bibliographically approved
Jennische, U. (2019). Divisive Democracy, Urban Trade, and Small-Small Politics in Northern Ghana. kritisk etnografi: Swedish Journal of Anthropology, 2(1-2), 125-140
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Divisive Democracy, Urban Trade, and Small-Small Politics in Northern Ghana
2019 (English)In: kritisk etnografi: Swedish Journal of Anthropology, ISSN 2003-1173, Vol. 2, no 1-2, p. 125-140Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Political governance in Tamale, Northern Ghana, is complicated by the conflict between the two royal lineages within the traditional Dagbon state that culminated with the killing of the paramount chief in 2002. The major political parties have in turn politicized this division and thus contaminated the national government with the Dagbon political predicaments. The Ghanaian constitution amplifies this bifurcation through its winner-takes-all system that vests great power in the president. Based on ten months of ethnographic fieldwork, this article explores these entanglements by analyzing small-scale street and market traders’ relation to the political parties. Although politically interested and engaged, traders often find political parties as polarizing and responsible for the conflict. While this distrust toward political parties and the government risks undermining the entire project of decentralization, it also brings traders together. This perspective thus challenges common understandings of democracy by showing how social cohesion and a sense of community can be formed in response to democratic processes and development projects rather than resulting from them. This article simultaneously shows how, alongside the conflict, there has always been a peace process beyond that initiated by the political establishment and the eminent chiefs. This peace process manifests itself in the long- term economic and social relations that underpins the moral economy of small-scale urban trade.

Keywords
Ghana, democracy, conflict, trade, citizenship
National Category
Social Anthropology
Research subject
Social Anthropology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-187421 (URN)
Available from: 2020-12-10 Created: 2020-12-10 Last updated: 2022-02-25Bibliographically approved
Jennische, U. (2018). Small-Small: Moral Economy and the Marketspace in Northern Ghana. (Doctoral dissertation). Stockholm: Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Small-Small: Moral Economy and the Marketspace in Northern Ghana
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Over the past decade, the Ghanaian government has tried to include and accommodate the many people working in the so-called informal economy. This formalization process is in line with a global market-driven development discourse. The small-scale traders selling their goods from marketplaces and along the streets in major cities have been of particular interest.

While the Ghanaian government defines these actors as working in an “informal sector” and thus beyond the formal political and economic system, it simultaneously targets them with welfare services and various policies with the purpose of including them in the creation of a modern welfare state and shaping them into moral and entrepreneurial citizens.

In Tamale in northern Ghana, years of political neglect, violence, and structural adjustment have led to small-scale traders taking over streets, sidewalks, and infrastructure, which has created a boundless and dynamic marketspace that far exceeds the delimited and politically defined marketplaces. For the state, therefore, much of the formalization process is about restoring the control and power of public space through evictions and relocations of traders. In conjunction with the inclusive welfare services, this demonstrates the contradictions entailed in the politics of informality.

The study is based on an ethnographic fieldwork among small-scale traders in northern Ghana with a specific interest in the events that occur at the intersection where state, market, and citizenship meet. By asking what it means to be a trader in this contradictory process of formalization, the dissertation aims to understand this transformative moment in Ghana’s political and economic history.

In this study the emic notion of small-small is used to frame the norms of gradual progress and letting others in that define the moral economy of small-scale trade. Norms, values, and obligations generate trust and solidarity within the marketspace. But more than that, small-small produces a form of politics against an obstructive and unreliable state and it guides traders into the future by shaping dreams, aspirations, and possibilities. Situated in traders’ daily lives, work, and relationships, and through the small-small lens, this thesis investigates the underlying moralities of formalization. It describes the politics of the Ghanaian state, which in its attempt to create an inclusive welfare society, struggles to both protect the moral dynamics of small-scale trade while adhering to the norms and standards of an open liberalized economy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University, 2018. p. 233
Series
Stockholm studies in social anthropology, ISSN 0347-0830 ; N.S.,20
Keywords
Ghana, small-scale trade, moral economy, informality, space and place, citizenship
National Category
Social Anthropology
Research subject
Social Anthropology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-157448 (URN)978-91-7797-234-1 (ISBN)978-91-7797-235-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-09-07, Ahlmannsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-08-15 Created: 2018-06-20 Last updated: 2022-02-26Bibliographically approved
Jennische, U. (2012). Traders, Drivers and the National Health Insurance Scheme in Small Town Ghana. Urban Forum, 23(4), 467-481
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Traders, Drivers and the National Health Insurance Scheme in Small Town Ghana
2012 (English)In: Urban Forum, ISSN 1015-3802, E-ISSN 1874-6330, Vol. 23, no 4, p. 467-481Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Based on anthropological fieldwork in the central market and taxi station of Koforidua, Ghana, this paper aims to improve our understanding of the social dynamics in the informal economy of a Ghanaian small town in relation to state policies. It strives to describe the way processes of formalization and informalization may coexist and interact during the implementation of the recent National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). The ethnographic approach helps us to better understand how attitudes on NHIS are formed and the way information and values are disseminated.

Closely examining the social infrastructure of this setting contributes further to this understanding. In the marketplace, it is important to develop networks of personal relations with fellow traders, customers, and suppliers. At the taxi station, on the other hand, the most important strategy is to join the powerful local union. These strategies are ways for actors to gain security and protection against economic vulnerability in a competitive liberalized economy. In this regard, the NHIS has also provided opportunities for actors. While the NHIS is a way for the state to increase control over the informal economy, and gradually formalizing it, it simultaneously indirectly reinforces and confirms the existing informal strategies of networking.

Keywords
Koforidua, NHIS, Trade, Taxi, Informal economy, Formalization
National Category
Social Anthropology
Research subject
Social Anthropology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-85803 (URN)10.1007/s12132-012-9177-6 (DOI)
Available from: 2013-01-09 Created: 2013-01-09 Last updated: 2022-02-24Bibliographically approved
Projects
Climate Change Governance and Private Diplomacy: Interventions from Nordic Corporate Funded Think Tanks [2022-00863_Formas]; Södertörn University
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-5986-7165

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