This introductory chapter sets out the purpose of the book, which is to tell a story of life in a village in the Teso region of eastern Uganda. It is organised around two basic premises: first, that the Ugandan government is uninterested in supporting an effective presence in the countryside; and second, that life in Oledai is an ‘open-ended’ business, better understood through investigating a range of spaces and activities, rather than looking at the impact of government reforms. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.
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