African Economies and the Politics of Permanent Crisis, 1979-1999

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Overview

This book explains why African countries have remained mired in a disastrous economic crisis since the late 1970s. It shows that dynamics internal to African state structures largely explain this failure to overcome economic difficulties rather than external pressures on these same structures as is often argued. Far from being prevented from undertaking reforms by societal interest and pressure groups, clientelism within the state elite, ideological factors and low state capacity have resulted in some limited reform, but much prevarication and manipulation of the reform process, by governments that do not really believe that reform will be effective.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This landmark work presents a searching and persuasive political explanation of Africa's failure to achieve development despite two decades of externally imposed economic reform. . . . A major contribution to our understanding of Africa's political economy." Foreign Affairs

"This landmark work presents a searching and persuasive political explanation of Africa's failure to achieve development despite two decades of externally imposed economic reform. . . . A major contribution to our understanding of Africa's political economy." Foreign Affairs

"Nicolas Van De Walle's [book] deserves to be read by all scholars interested in serious discussion of the issue.... Van De Walle's work...provides a useful road map of a jumbled and bewildering economic world." American Political Science Review

"A valuable contribution to the literature, this book broadens the discussion of current development strategies to include an in-depth analysis of the so-called neopatrimonal state as the potential source of failure of African development." CHOICE

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. Approaches to Africa's permanent crisis; 2. Patterns in economic reform implementation, 1979–99; 3. Decision making in post-colonial Africa; 4. Understanding state responses to the crisis; 5. The crisis and foreign aid; 6. Democratization and the prospects for change; 7. Conclusion.

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