1. 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.

  2. Just to follow up my previous comments, with reference to Morocco as a case of ‘development patrimonialism’… One of the classic analyses of Morocco, by John Waterbury back in the ’70s explained the whole political economy of Morocco in terms of ;patronage, with the King (previously the Sultan) at the apex of the system as ‘the Commander of the Faithful’ (the title of Waterbury’s book) and Head of State. While disagreeing with Waterbury’s ‘segmentary model’ of Moroccan economy and society, I am also convinced by the prevalence of what I would indeed call patrimonialism. In some ways, Morocco’s development has been impressive. GDP per person has grown by 70 per cent in real terms since 2000. Foreign investment and stronger links with sub-Saharan Africa, a growing mineral and manufacturing base, tourism and remittances from Europe, infrastructural development (roads and rail links, have all made their contribution. Poverty has declined on average.

    But despite this, inequality has grown significantly, both between regions and between different social classes. In the north in particular, in what was once (until independence in 1956) Spanish Morocco, unemployment is high – youth unemployment is around 40 per cent, twice the national average. Tens of thousands of Moroccans leave each year, hoping to find employment in Europe; their remittances make a contribution to the survival of their families back home, but much of what comes back goes straight out to pay for essentials. There have been mass protests in the north over the last six months even as work on the building of seven ‘eco-resorts’ has begun under the king’s ten year plan to increase tourism in the region. A visit by the prime minister and the deployment of the security forces kept thing quiet for a while – hundreds were arrested and over 50 detained and on trial for ‘undermining the state’ – but the unrest has not been contained and the underlying problems , notably the lack of employment, remain.

    The ruling elite, most of whom have direct interests in state-run projects as well as in the private sector, presides over a system in which personal ties and patronage still plays a crucial part, and still, at the apex, is the king, King Muhammad VI, who remains nominally in charge, even if he spends a good deal of time abroad and is clearly in poor health. With vast inherited wealth and ownership of land – making him the fourth largest landowner in the world (after the Vatican, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and Queen Elizabeth II of England) – he is estimated to be worth around $2 billion,


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