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New publication by Gerhard Anders

in new issue of Social Anthropology 23(1): 29-41.

The normativity of numbers in practice: technologies of counting, accounting and auditing in Malawi's civil service reform

Gerhard Anders, University of Edinburgh

Contemporary technologies of governing employed in international development rely on the normativity of numbers, the collection and use of numbers, as conditions for financial support by the international financial institutions. This article examines how the normativity of numbers worked in practice during the implementation of civil service reform in Malawi. It reveals a contradiction between the lofty rhetoric of greater efficiency and transparency achieved through the introduction of new technologies and the messy realities of everyday bureaucratic practices, corruption and haphazard implementation.

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