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Between Neoliberal Bureaucratization and Paternalism: Domination and Protest at Stake in a Cash Transfers Programme in Uganda

Abstract : The Ugandan government has been implementing a cash transfer programme called “Social Assistance Grant for Empowerment” (SAGE) since 2011. Cash transfers are social policies aimed at helping targeted beneficiaries (e.g. vulnerable children, single mothers, old people, disabled people, etc.) by providing them with a small but regular direct transfer payment. Creating a cash transfer programme in Uganda had been under consideration since the early 2000s, and was more firmly introduced in 2010 with the support of the Department for International Development (DFID), the British development agency. The Ugandan government, sceptical of cash transfer programmes, had prevented implementation before that date. It had prioritized infrastructure development and the promotion of economic growth since the National Resistance Movement (NRM) took power in 1986. Following a developmentalist and neoliberal approach, the state aimed to promote an orthodox macroeconomic policy. Social protection policy was seen as opposed to this developmentalist philosophy, generating mistrust and disapproval for fear it might fuel a “dependency culture”. This belief was expressed not only in opinion polls but also by numerous political and administrative leaders, in particular in the Ministry of Finance3. Yet, a lobbying campaign led by DFID and the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development convinced the Ugandan presidency to partially shift from the logic of economic development to the fight against poverty.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-03078645
Contributor : Bastien Miraucourt <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, December 16, 2020 - 6:15:04 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, December 31, 2020 - 3:02:01 AM

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Ronan Jacquin. Between Neoliberal Bureaucratization and Paternalism: Domination and Protest at Stake in a Cash Transfers Programme in Uganda. 2019, https://mambo.hypotheses.org/1539. ⟨halshs-03078645⟩

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