The construction of citizenship and the public provision of electricity during the 2014 World Cup in Ghana

Lauren M. MacLean, George M. Bob-Milliar, Elizabeth Baldwin, Elisa Dickey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Why did the Ghanaian state go to such extraordinary lengths to facilitate the reliable broadcast of the World Cup in 2014? During a period of frequent power outages, Ghana swapped power with regional neighbours and directed major domestic industries to reduce production in order to allow Ghanaians to watch their national soccer team compete in the World Cup. This paper investigates the politics of the public service provision of electricity in Ghana. We focus on the short-term crisis during the 2014 World Cup to reveal the citizens' and politicians' expectations about electricity as a public good. Drawing on an analysis of archival documents, Ghanaian newspapers, and interviews with government, business, and NGO officials in the energy sector, we argue that the Ghanaian state historically has created the expectation of electricity as a right of national citizenship and explore how this intersects with competitive party politics today.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)555-590
Number of pages36
JournalJournal of Modern African Studies
Volume54
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Sociology and Political Science

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