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Conceptualizing the Developmental State in Resource-Rich Sub-Saharan Africa

Listed author(s):
  • Ghebremusse Sara


    (Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Ontario, Canada)

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    This paper uses the “developmental state” model to conceptualize state participation in African extractive sectors. What form thss can take in resource-rich states has not been extensively studied, since most countries labeled as “developmental states” lacked significant natural resources. Borrowing from the experiences of “successful” African developmental states – notably Botswana and Mauritius – this paper proposes a graduated developmental state model that is driven by state capacity, both fiscally and structurally. This paper is divided as follows: Section 2 provides an overview of the “developmental state” and examines the specific role law has played in its evolution. Section 3 then examines the developmental state in Sub-Saharan Africa, paying particular attention to model countries put forth in the literature. Finally, Section 4 proposes the graduated developmental state model in resource-rich Sub-Saharan Africa by examining important considerations for its adoption and providing tailored recommendations.

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    Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The Law and Development Review.

    Volume (Year): 8 (2015)
    Issue (Month): 2 (December)
    Pages: 467-502

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    Handle: RePEc:bpj:lawdev:v:8:y:2015:i:2:p:467-502:n:2
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    1. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
    2. Jamee K. Moudud & Karl Botchway, 2008. "The Search for a New Developmental State," International Journal of Political Economy, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 37(3), pages 5-26, September.
    3. Sachs, J-D & Warner, A-M, 1995. "Natural Resource Abundance and Economic Growth," Papers 517a, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
    4. Mkandawire, Thandika, 2001. "Thinking about Developmental States in Africa," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(3), pages 289-313, May.
    5. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 2003. "Tropics, germs, and crops: how endowments influence economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 3-39, January.
    6. Esteban Pérez Caldentey, 2008. "The Concept and Evolution of the Developmental State," International Journal of Political Economy, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 37(3), pages 27-53, September.
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