African Economies and the Politics of Permanent Crisis, by Nicolas Van de Walle

By Nicolas Van de Walle

This ebook explains why African international locations have remained mired in a disastrous monetary concern because the overdue Seventies. It indicates that dynamics inner to African kingdom constructions mostly clarify this failure to beat financial problems instead of exterior pressures on those related constructions as is frequently argued. faraway from being avoided from venture reforms by way of societal curiosity and strain teams, clientelism in the country elite, ideological components and occasional nation potential have led to a few restricted reform, yet a lot prevarication and manipulation of the reform approach, through governments that don't relatively think that reform can be potent.

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We remark on their existence and symbolic significance precisely because the kinds of organized groups that weigh on the policy process in richer countries are so striking by their absence in the region. There are other reasons for the weakness of interest group organizations in low-income countries. Economic structure results in a tendency for households and individuals to have multiple economic interests. Because of the recent nature of urbanization, many urban households in Africa retain links with their village of origin, may continue to cultivate land there, and help promote extensive urban-rural trade.

8 Government expenditures and consumer subsidies were cut significantly in many countries during the I980s, as part of adjustment programs. In Latin America, in particular, the decade witnessed real progress on reform without the occurrence of the widely predicted social explosion. 9 In Mexico, for example, economic reform after I982 directly attacked the powerful unions ensconced in the public and parapublic sectors and resulted in massive layoffs and a six-year recession before growth resumed in I989, yet the regime'S hold on power was left undiminished.

The current system of international aid has reinforced these tendencies. Section four summarizes the consequences of these factors for the implementation of reform, particularly as they have evolved over a relatively long period of time. I focus on the "partial reform syndrome" in which the absence of sustained reform for two decades creates a unique political economy, with distinctive winners and losers. In most but not all cases, relatively autonomous state elites have manipulated the implementation of reform to advance their own interests, relying on partial reform to create new sources of rent seeking and corruption.

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