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State, governance and development in Africa

State, governance and development in Africa

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'… a fresh insight into governance and development issues from the standpoint of contributors with quite diverse academic and working backgrounds… Above all, the collection aims to provoke critical reflection and debate.’ – Paul Nugent, Professor of Comparative African History, and Professor in African Studies, University of Edinburgh.

‘What is overwhelmingly the most interesting thing about this book is that the authors are largely young Africans with distinctive points of view at a time when African economic growth is positive.’ - Bill Freund, Professor of Economic History and Development Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

The inspiration for this book was a Summer School on State, Governance and Development presented by distinguished academics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. Written by young African scholars, the chapters here focus on state, governance and development in Africa as seen from the authors’ vantage points and positions in different sectors of society.

The book opens with three forewords by eminent African scholars including Ben Turok, Johan Burger and Mohamed Halfani. The chapters that follow examine rent-seeking, patronage, neopatrimonialism and bad governance. They engage with statehood, state-building and statecraft and challenge the mainstream opinions of donors, funders, development banks, international non-governmental organisations and development organisations. They include the role of China in Africa, Kenya’s changing demographics, state accountability in South Africa’s dominant party system, Somalia’s prospects for state-building, urban development and routine violence, and resource mobilisation.

At a time in which core institutions are being tested -- the market, the rule of law, democracy, civil society and representative democracy – this book offers a much-needed multi- and inter-disciplinary perspective, and a different narrative on what is unfolding, while also exposing dynamics that are often overlooked.

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