The Politics of Africa's Economic Stagnation (African by Richard Sandbrook

By Richard Sandbrook

African states will not be, in any genuine feel, capitalist states. in other places, the kingdom has performed an important position in facilitating capitalist growth, yet in postcolonial Africa one reveals a sort of neopatrimonialism - own rule - that introduces numerous fiscal irrationalities. effective fiscal actions are impeded by way of the political instability, systemic corruption and maladminstration linked to own rule. In severe situations, a downward spiral of political-economic decline is decided in movement that's tough to halt and opposite. Is own rule easily a euphemism for ineptitude and mismanagement? The authors argue that it isn't; it operates in line with a specific political rationality that shapes a ruler's activities whilst, within the absence of valid authority, he's faced with the problem of governing an unintegrated peasant society. Neopatrimonialism is largely an version of colonial-inspired political associations to ordinary historic and social stipulations. This publication makes a speciality of the political issue as an enormous explanation for Africa's financial ills. It analyses the social stipulations impelling political variation and the implications of private rule for monetary lifestyles, and surveys inventive responses to the concern African humans now face.

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Persons output engaged % no. persons output engaged % no. 7 63. 9 2,280 253 1,210 2,665 l,224 1,312 866 37 239 38,936 Total Manufacturing % 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 no. 653,550 5 s , s 78 36,787 148,558 14,660 85,852 75,098 48,698 40,726 48,944 l,823,864 Notes: a 'light manufacturing' includes food, beverages and tobacco; textiles and clothing; wood and furniture; and paper, printing and publishing. b 'heavy manufacturing' includes chemicals, petroleum and plastics; non-metallic mineral products; basic metal industries; and fabricated metal products, machinery and equipment.

In Western Europe, the modern state was born precisely during the Industrial Revolution. State-building, the creation of a centralized and hierarchical system of authority relations within a certain territory, required that local political units be subordinated to the 30 The politics of Africa's economic stagnation central government. To achieve this, ambitious rulers inces­ santly strove for new revenues to fuel the expansion of standing armies and administrative staffs. This search, in turn, contributed to the broadening of capitalist property relations and the incorporation of backward regions into national markets.

Bitter ethnic and religious schisms are another internal constraint on capitalist development. Social tension and collective violence discourage investment, and worthy projects must be aborted. A culturally homogeneous popu· lation is a real boon for capitalist development; the govern­ ing elite is better able to motivate its people through patriotic appeals and foster nation-building solidarity, dedication and sacrifice. (Political schisms central to the understanding of the politics of capitalist development will be considered at length in Chapter 3 .

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