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The Political Economy of Agricultural Policies in Africa: History, Analytical Concepts and Implications for Development Cooperation

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  • Hoeffler, Heike
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    Abstract

    50 years since independence, agriculture remains a key driver for economic growth, rural development and poverty reduction in many African countries. Yet, the sector has suffered from market and policy failures and has largely failed to fulfil its potential. Why do agricultural policies seem to have failed in seizing development opportunities? This paper argues that this is partly due to the fact that the legacy of political economy of agricultural policy reforms in Africa was inadequately considered. After decades of research, the political economy of agricultural policy making in Africa still seems to puzzle academics and practitioners alike. This paper discusses the evolution of the specific political economy in agricultural policy reforms from a historic perspective, and why political economy issues are (still) key problems in rural development. Even though political economy has been analysed from different economic and social science angles, the respective results have rarely been synthesised and put into practical use. The author argues that a lot can be gained by addressing the political economy in African agriculture in a more inter-disciplinary way and she provides lessons learned for both development research and development cooperation.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin in its journal Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture.

    Volume (Year): 50 (No.1)
    Issue (Month): ()
    Pages:

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    Handle: RePEc:ags:qjiage:155489

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    Related research

    Keywords: agricultural policy; political economy; rural development; Africa; Agricultural and Food Policy; International Development; Political Economy; O13; P48; Q18;

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    1. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1987. "Some Theoretical Aspects of Agricultural Policies," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 2(1), pages 43-60, January.
    2. Dani Rodrik, 2006. "Goodbye Washington Consensus, Hello Washington Confusion? A Review of the World Bank's Economic Growth in the 1990s: Learning from a Decade of Reform," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 44(4), pages 973-987, December.
    3. Kherallah, Mylène & Delgado, Christopher L. & Gabre-Madhin, Eleni Z. & Minot, Nicholas & Johnson, Michael, 2002. "Reforming agricultural markets in Africa," Food policy statements 38, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Krueger, Anne O, 1996. " Political Economy of Agricultural Policy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 87(1-2), pages 163-75, April.
    5. North, Douglass C., 1989. "Institutions and economic growth: An historical introduction," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 17(9), pages 1319-1332, September.
    6. Jayne, T. S. & Jones, Stephen, 1997. "Food marketing and pricing policy in Eastern and Southern Africa: A survey," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(9), pages 1505-1527, September.
    7. Ndulu,Benno J. & O'Connell,Stephen A. & Bates,Robert H. & Collier,Paul & Soludo,Chukwuma C., 2009. "The Political Economy of Economic Growth in Africa, 1960–2000," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521127752.
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