SIID associate Tom Goodfellow has been awarded the Oxford Development Studies Sanjaya Lall Prize 2013 for his article entitled ‘The Institutionalisation of “Noise” and “Silence” in Urban Politics: Riots and Compliance in Uganda and Rwanda’ published in ODS 41 (4): 436-54.

The Sanjaya Lall Prize is awarded annually for the best article published in the previous year’s volume. The prizes are named in honour of the late Sanjaya Lall, who was Professor of Economics at Oxford University and formerly Managing Editor of ODS. 

Abstract of the paper:

“Amid ongoing debates about institutions and development, the importance of informal institutions (or norms) is widely recognised. Relatively little, however, is known about how informal institutions form and persist over time in particular contexts. This paper combines a concern with the process of informal institutionalisation and a focus on everyday politics in urban areas. Drawing on a comparative study of Kampala (Uganda) and Kigali (Rwanda), it argues that in the former the regular mobilisation of urban social groups into protests and riots has institutionalised what might be termed “noise” as the most meaningful form of political participation. In Kigali, by contrast, comparatively “silent” processes of collective mobilisation that involve structured activities and community “self-policing” have become institutionalised. The paper analyses these differential patterns, considering the tacit norms of negotiation in each case and the incentives for urban social and political actors to adhere to them.”

View the full article online

Tom Goodfellow is a Lecturer in Urban Studies and International Development at the University of Sheffield, and is also part of the SIID Research Network. Tom’s research interests centre on questions of urban development and politics in the global South, especially sub-Saharan Africa. He is particularly interested in how people pursuing livelihoods in the urban informal economy interact with state authorities, and how these interactions affect broader processes of socioeconomic development and political change.