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

By Nicolas Van de Walle

This booklet explains why African nations have remained mired in a disastrous fiscal problem because the past due Nineteen Seventies. It indicates that dynamics inner to African country constructions mostly clarify this failure to beat fiscal problems instead of exterior pressures on those comparable constructions as is frequently argued. faraway from being avoided from project reforms via societal curiosity and strain teams, clientelism in the kingdom elite, ideological components and occasional country means have ended in a few constrained reform, yet a lot prevarication and manipulation of the reform technique, via governments that don't rather think that reform can be potent.

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38 I believe that if African governments were to adopt and sustain policies more or less compatible with this consensus, their economies would flourish within a couple of years. But this book is more about the failure of African governments to implement any such policies through more than two decades of official commitment to policy reform than it is a critique or defense of a specific set of policies. There is much variation in performance across African countries, so it is tempting to focus the analysis on explaining intra-African variation.

Political Parties and National Integration in Tropical Africa (Berkeley: University of California Press 1964), pp. 340-81, p. 340. For a somewhat more sanguine appraisal, see Richard Sandbrook and Robin Cohen, The Development of the African Working Class: Studies in Class Formation and Action (London: Longman, 1975). 21. African Economies and the Politics of Permanent Crisis, 1979-I999 only a minimal degree of mobilization is enough for an interest group to unseat an elected official, given their lobbying power and ability to rely on the press.

Wiseman, "Urban Riots in West Africa, 1977-1985," Journal of Modern African Studies 24 (1986): 509-I8. Approaches to Africa's Permanent Crisis Perhaps the real problem is that scholars who have attributed great influence to interest groups tend to conflate interests and interest groups, assuming that the mere existence of economic interests in a segment of the population will guarantee their effective representation in the political system. 14 Interest group analyses tend to take organization for granted, implying that the level of resources, capabilities, and leadership available to an interest group do not determine its effectiveness or lack thereof.

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