Incivility: the politics of 'people on the margins' in Jamaica

Johnson, Hume N. (2005) Incivility: the politics of 'people on the margins' in Jamaica. Political Studies, 53 (3). pp. 579-597.

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This paper employs and scrutinizes Asef Bayat's theory of [the] 'quiet encroachment' of the 'informal people' in the Middle East to reflect on civility and governance in Jamaica. The central argument is that while the practices of the economically dispossessed represent rational ways to survive hardships and improve their lives, the alliance of members of Jamaica's informal sphere with 'community dons' flies in the face of civility and civic engagement, engendering destructive, criminal behaviour, which undermines the state's capacity to regulate the space and uphold the rule of law. The essay recognises the validity of the episodic mobilization of 'people on the margins' in Jamaica as a useful, autonomous aspect of civil society, without romanticising it or abstracting it from its counterpoint to the state. It however maintains that such a collectivity, operating vicariously, exerts a burden on social stability and cohesion with dire consequences for democratic governance.

Item ID: 3214
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1467-9248
Date Deposited: 19 May 2009 01:09
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1606 Political Science > 160603 Comparative Government and Politics @ 100%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9402 Government and Politics > 940299 Government and Politics not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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