Legitimation as Political Practice: crafting everyday authority in Tanzania

Hosted by the Department of International Relations

Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building


Dr Kathy Dodworth

Dr Kathy Dodworth

Research Fellow, Centre of Africa Studies, University of Edinburgh


Dr Milli Lake

Dr Milli Lake

Associate Professor, Department of International Relations, LSE

Legitimacy has long been perceived through a Westernised lens as a fixed, binary state. Drawing on her new book, Legitimation as Political Practice: Crafting Everyday Authority in Tanzania, Kathy Dodworth will explore everyday legitimation practices in coastal Tanzania, specifically how non-government organisations craft their authority to act, working with, against and through the state.

Combining ethnographic fieldwork with theoretical innovation, legitimacy is reworked as a collection of constantly renegotiated practices. Dr Dodworth adopts insights from political theory, sociology and anthropology, and will discuss contemporary non/state governance in Tanzania and beyond, in the wake of waning Western dominance. 

Meet our speaker and chair

Kathy Dodworth is a Research Fellow at the Centre of Africa Studies at the University of Edinburgh, examining voluntary labour in Kenya. Her latest book is a result of her doctoral research in Politics and International Relations at the University of Edinburgh in 2018, which won the School of Social and Political Science Outstanding Thesis Award. She has published in African Affairs, Critical African Studies, Ethnography, Journal of Social Policy and Health and was the winner of the inaugural BISA/African Affairs postgraduate paper prize. 

Milli Lake is Associate Professor of International Security in LSE's Department of International Relations. She co-directs the Women's Rights After War project and also co-convenes the Advancing Research on Conflict consortium.

More about this event

The Department of International Relations (@LSEIRDept) at LSE is now in it's 95th year - one of the oldest as well as largest IR departments in the world, with a truly international reputation. We are ranked 2nd in the UK and 4th in the world in the QS World University Ranking by Subject 2023 tables for Politics and International Studies.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSELegitimation

Copies of Kathy Dodworth's new book, Legitimation as Political Practice: Crafting Everyday Authority in Tanzania will be available to purchase at this event from Pages of Hackney.

Read the blog post by Kathy Dodworth and Christian Hotz Judging a book through its cover: Exploring legitmation through art

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