Latent Practices and Theories of Public Administration in São Tomé and Príncipe

Project Title:
Latent Practices and Theories of Public Administration in São Tomé and Príncipe

Start amd end of Project
2013 - ongoing

Chief Investigator:
Prof.  João Bilhim


Research Team:

Researcher Name Institutional Afiliation
Alice Trindade CAPP/ISCSP
Anália Torres CAPP/ISCSP
Cal Vasques CAPP/ISCSP
Carlos Calder CAPP/ISCSP
Celeste Quintino CAPP/ISCSP
Elisabete de Carvalho CAPP/ISCSP
Fernando Serra CAPP/ISCSP
Helena Monteiro CAPP/ISCSP
Hermano Carmo CAPP/ISCSP
João Bilhim CAPP/ISCSP
João Catarino CAPP/ISCSP
José Luís Nascimento CAPP/ISCSP
Lara  Tavares CAPP/ISCSP
Pedro Correia CAPP/ISCSP
Ricardo Ramos Pinto CAPP/ISCSP


Partners:

Country Partner
Portugal Instituto Superior de Ciências Sociais e Políticas
São Tomé and Príncipe Universidade Pública de São Tomé e Príncipe

 

Summary:

Following the persistent diagnoses of public administration inefficiency in São Tomé and Príncipe, this project analyses the country’s models and theories of public administration since colonial times.

For that purpose, P. Bourdieu’s concepts of “habitus” and “field” are instrumental in understanding how individuals and society interplay. The researchers of this project argue that the practice in public administration is neither a deterministic product of the structural setting nor the result of the pursuit of individual goals. (Bilhim, Ciência da Administração: Lisboa: ISCSP, 2013). Instead, the practice is “the product of a dialectical relationship between the situation and the habitus” (Bourdieu [1972] 2002. Esboço de uma Teoria da prática. Oeiras: Celta, p. 261). “Habitus” is here understood to be how society is embodied in the individual through past experiences to form their thoughts, feelings and actions. It “functions as a matrix of perceptions, appreciations and actions that allow to perform infinitely differentiated tasks” (Bourdieu [1972] 2002. Esboço de uma Teoria da prática. Oeiras: Celta, p. 261). In addition, the concept of “field”, understood as a game and its rules of engagement, provides useful insights for understanding the role of the State in a country’s development process. The existing incentives and punishments condition the behavior within the bureaucratic apparatus, where, as a social arena, contradictory interests of a political, economic, social and cultural nature clash.

Therefore, the research objectives are: to identify the theoretical models related to the administrative practices; to recognize regularities and ruptures in the administrative processes; to discover continuities and discontinuities in the policies; to envision the bases of a future reform of the Public Administration in São Tomé and Príncipe, in the different functional areas.

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