Habermas' Theory of Communicative Action and Ghana's Local Government System

Martin Akotey


The current local government system of Ghana make provisions for the participation of a wide range of local stakeholders in policy making process at the local assemblies. While this is commendable on paper, the implementation has been difficult since some assembly members, especially those who may be sympathetic to the ruling party and even competent professionals and technical officers serving in the Assemblies had often been unable to share their real convictions as a result the fear of facing the punitive consequences of disagreeing with their party and those who wield political power. Employing the method of literature review and the narrative account of the author's personal experience as insider in Ghana's local government for almost a decade, the author discusses the current state of Ghana's local government system in the context of Habermas' theory of Communicative rationality. He recommends that instead of using power to influence what decisions are made and which of these get implemented , Ghana's local government system will deliver better results for the general good if Habermas' Communicative Action is adopted as key principle of action and decision making. The implication is that, all the local government actors will seek to reach common understanding and to coordinate their actions through reasoned argument, consensus and cooperation rather than by strategic action that pursues limited interests of the powerful.
KEY WORDS: Ghana, Local Government, Habermas, Communicative Action

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5731 ISSN (Online)2225-0972

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