Stagnation of a “Miracle”:Botswana’s Governance Record Revisited
AbstractBotswana has been dubbed an “African miracle.” The country has been praised not only for maintaining a multiparty system and high growth rates since independence but also for its good governance record. In contrast to other African countries, the extent of neopatrimonialism, which runs counter to good governance, is said to be low. This article aims to a) precisely assess Botswana’s neopatrimonial profile and b) put forward explanations for the comparatively low level of neopatrimonialism and for the recent “stagnation of a miracle.” The paper finds that there have always been neopatrimonial tendencies in Botswana, though they have been largely overlooked by mainstream analyses. The crucial difference is the limited nature of these tendencies relative to other African countries. This can be attributed to the independence period, characterized by the homogeneity of political, economic, and administrative interests in safeguarding private property rights through a “strong” rational-legal state, that is, by limiting neopatrimonialism. Financed by massive revenues stemming from diamonds, the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), and the Bank of Botswana, the government of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) was able to secure its reign through the provision of public goods and limited neopatrimonial exchange relations. However, due to decreasing electoral dominance and elite cohesion, the ruling party is now reverting to some neopatrimonial and authoritarian means in order to safeguard its rule.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies in its series GIGA Working Paper Series with number 99.
Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2009
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Neuer Jungfernstieg 21, D-20354 Hamburg
Phone: +49 (0)40 42825-593
Fax: +49 (0)40 42825-547
Web page: http://www.giga-hamburg.de/workingpapers
More information through EDIRC
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AFR-2009-08-22 (Africa)
- NEP-ALL-2009-08-22 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2009-08-22 (Development)
- NEP-PBE-2009-08-22 (Public Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Barbara Wake Carroll & Terrance Carroll, 1997. "State and ethnicity in Botswana and Mauritius: A democratic route to development?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(4), pages 464-486.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bert Hoffmann).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.