(Re-)building governance in post-conflict Africa: the role of the state and informal institutions

Post-conflict governance is an increasingly important aspect of foreign development assistance in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), where the weakening and disintegration of the state undermine sustainable human development. A major challenge in post-conflict rebuilding in SSA concerns the incorporation of subnational non-state structures and informal institutions into the post-conflict governance apparatus. In order to tackle this apparent gap in sustainable peacebuilding, more theoretical and empirical research is needed into the nuanced role(s) and contribution(s) of the post-conflict state in reconstituting governance and rehabilitating communities. This article discusses the post-Washington Consensus (PWC), an emerging development approach which seeks to re-introduce the role of the state in development and post-conflict studies. The central proposition of the article is that, contrary to the anti-statist premise of the Washington Consensus, states, non-state structures, and informal institutions play an important role in cultivating institutional reconciliation, interpenetration, and integration between macro-level government structures and subnational social institutions. pp395-402