Rwanda’s Contested Model: Economic Rents, Development and Stability - ROAPE
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  • David Seddon
    Posted at 16:04h, 12 June Reply

    This paper by Ring, and perhaps even more so the longer work by Booth and Golooba-Mutebi cited here, provide much food for thought, less about the issue of the statistics per se than about the proposed concept of ‘developmental patrimonialism’. In the longer paper, as here, other examples are identified in some other African countries at specific periods – eg Cote d’Ivoire/Ivory Coast 1960-75; Kenya, 1965-75; Malawi 1964-78, and perhaps Ethiopia etc.; also contrasts are also drawn with other African states. Both exercises are needed, Interestingly reference is also made to various states in southeast Asia.

    It may be possible to begin to articulate a preliminary typology not only for post-colonial African states but for African, Middle Eastern and Asian states as a framework for further comparative work, which would serve to further refine and conceptualise a real theoretical framework. I would suggest, for example, that Morocco might also be regarded as a specific case of ‘developmental patrimonialism’, with some of the same strengths and weaknesses, including reliance on a single dominant political figure (the king, in the case of Morocco). I am interested in whether Uganda under Museveni has also, at some periods at least exemplified a form of ‘developmental patrimonialism’, although Booth and Golooba-Mutebi refer to Uganda at various points (pp. 8, 9 and 11 for example) and comment on specific ‘sharp contrasts’.. How would South Africa be characterised; or Nigeria?

    Direct contrasts can be made, for a start’ between ‘developmental patrimonialism’ and what has often been referred to crudely as ‘kleptocracy’ (patrimonialism without the development aspect), which has characterised so many other African states since independence. But there are other possible ‘types’, including what are often termed ‘failed states’ where neither of these two terms applies.

    I am also interested in what might be termed the ‘pre-requisites for the emergence and/or disappearance of these different kinds of state over time. There are important questions of ‘path dependence’, for example, where continuity and change from previous ‘states’ (including the colonial state) play a role; there is also the issue of the social and institutional structures either encouraging or discouraging various state forms – for example, ethnic diversity versus homogeneity, quality and extent of literacy and education, bureaucratic traditions (Weber), insulation of policy making and implementation from short term political pressures, etc.

    I wrote something some time ago on the issues of ‘state autonomy and policy adaptability’, ‘the state and civil society’, and ‘the developmentalist bureaucracy’ in a chapter comparing the Latin American and East Asian experiences in a book edited by Tony Killick on ‘The Flexible Economy: causes and consequences of the adaptability of national economies’ (Routledge 1995). Some of the discussion may still be relevant.

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