What is public authority?
Public authority is any kind of authority beyond the immediate family which commands a degree of consent – from clans, religious institutions, aid agencies, civil society organisations, rebel militia, and vigilante groups, to formal and semi-formal mechanisms of government.
What are CPAID's goals?
Taking the perspective of the everyday lived realities of ordinary people, Centre for Public Authority and International Development (CPAID) seeks to move away from the assumption that only Western-style formal state institutions can provide the structures necessary for thriving economic and social life. Instead, researchers will use the concept of public authority to investigate the roles played by a multitude of actors and institutions – including governments, clans, religious institutions, aid agencies, civil society organisations, rebel militias and vigilante groups – in shaping the political orders that make mutuality and economic activity possible in conflict-affected areas.
The centre's main goals are to:
- Promote new ways of thinking about public authority
- Investigate how governance and public service provision in fragile contexts actually function on the ground
- Help translate the findings into more effective policy responses
Areas of Research
Endowed with funding of £5 million from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), CPAID brings together world-leading researchers on Uganda, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia and the Central African Republic. Disciplinary backgrounds range from anthropology, economics and development studies to international relations and political science. Building on the knowledge, networks, and connections of its members, CPAID aims to make a substantial impact by engaging meaningfully with stakeholders in the researched countries, forging closer links between academic research and policy-making, and providing an evidence base for more effective policies to promote inclusive growth and social change.
Click here to learn more about CPAID.