As part of efforts to eliminate corruption and completely deal with incompetence in developing countries, a powerful book that gives insight and foolproof guidance into problem solving mechanisms has been launched in Accra on Monday July 27, 2022.
Dubbed “Patchwork Leviathan: Pockets of Bureaucratic Effectiveness in Developing States”, this master book provides explanations on both structural analysis and structural functionalism to bring about change.
Authored by the Notre Dame Du Lac and Kellogg Associate Professor of Sociology, Prof. Erin Metz McDonnell, the book offers a comprehensive analysis of successful statecraft in institutionally challenging environments, drawing on cases from contemporary Ghana and Nigeria, mid-twentieth-century Kenya and Brazil, and China in the early twentieth century.
Published on March 3, 2020, in a hardcover body containing 304 pages, the masterpiece explains how a few spectacularly effective state organizations manage to thrive amid general institutional weakness and succeed against impressive odds.
Speaking at the launch in Accra at the CDD Ghana auditorium, Prof. Erin Metz McDonnell establishes that when the human, cognitive, and material resources of bureaucracy are rare, it is critically important how they are distributed.
“Too often, scarce bureaucratic resources are scattered throughout the state, yielding little effect”.
Drawing on the Hobbesian image of the state as Leviathan, Prof. Erin Metz McDonnell maintains that many seemingly weak states are in fact patchworks sewn loosely together from scarce resources into semblance of unity.
She further discloses how a sufficient concentration of resources clustered within particular pockets of a state can be transformative, enabling distinctively effective organizations to emerge from a sea of ineffectiveness.
Prof. McDonnell recommends the book to all leaders including people who aspires to be leaders as a guide to help them make sense of what goes around as far as the voices of their staff, experience and needs are concerned in the developing countries, adding that; “It will give them new ideas to work with and leverage in their own leadership”
In his review, Dr. Emmanuel Ayisi, a Lecturer at the Department of Public Administration and Health Services Management, University of Ghana describes the masterpiece as very interesting owing to the detailed analysis that she has brought to it.
“Apart from that, she brings in new insights, fresh and empirical evidence on what we already know about pockets of effectiveness, which is good”, he added.
For his part, Prof. Frank Ohemeng, Lecturer at the Department of Political Science, Concordia University commended Prof. McDonnell for a good work done in putting every pieces of ideas together which emanated from a research considering the quality of time spent in her study including the large number of interviews conducted which led to the production of a thought-provoking masterpiece, “Patchwork Leviathan: Pockets of Bureaucratic Effectiveness in Developing States”.
“I’m enthused about how she is able to do these things in a very systematic way and that is what I’ve appreciated about her work, the way she was able to manage to get these things done to prove the point of why small group culture is extremely important”, he posited.
In his opening remark, Senior Research Fellow, Amb. Francis Tsegah declares the masterpiece as a work which explains distinctive attributes of highly effective organizations from less effective agencies and provides a structural and orchestration explanation for how this state issues succeeds against the odds with insight from cognitive signs, organizational studies and social psychology.
Reflecting briefly on the recent findings of the Afrobarometer report by the CDD Ghana which pointed to excessive corruption in the system and ranked the Ghanaian state institutions as most corrupt, he describes it as not encouraging at all and appealed to all Ghanaians to read the book to be informed to bring about change.
While lauding the author for a wonderful job done, he added that: “It is my hope that the book together with the discussions that we would have in this room would influence policy conversations and public sector reforms in Ghana.
Amb. Tsegah concluded by pledging his outfit’s commitment and availability to always collaborate with relevant stakeholders in the country to ensure the fight against corruption becomes a reality.
For her part, Prof. Nana Akua Anyidoho hinted that she found the book so refreshing due to its presentation of what works within the African state as well as the dynamic approach given by the author in bringing to the forth the subject of plurality.
Extolling the works of Prof. McDonnell in an exciting fashion in her concluding statement, she said: “One mark of a really good researcher is that she spent a lot of time gathering information and analyzing it and presenting it in a way that is advanced, profound and that’s kind of simple and obvious to make people to say aaaaaah okay that makes sense”.
Source:Joseph Kobla Wemakor