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Common roots, shared traits, joint prospects? On the articulation of multiple modernities in Benin and Haiti

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  • Kohnert, Dirk

Abstract

The globalized Western culture of innovation, as propagated by major aid institutions, does not necessarily lead to empowerment or improvement of the well-being of the stakeholders. On the contrary, it often blocks viable indigenous innovation cultures. In African societies and African Diasporas in Latin America, Cultures of Innovation largely accrue from the informal, not the formal sector. Crucial for a proper understanding is its structural differentiation according to class, gender or religion, and between different trans-national social spaces. Different innovation cultures may be complementary, mutually reinforcing, or conflicting, leading in extreme cases even to a 'clash of cultures' at the local level. The repercussions of competing, even antagonistic agencies of innovative strategic groups are demonstrated, taking the example of the impact of African religion on development in Benin and Haiti.

Suggested Citation

  • Kohnert, Dirk, 2007. "Common roots, shared traits, joint prospects? On the articulation of multiple modernities in Benin and Haiti," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 151-173.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:espost:118682
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/118682/1/Kohnert-2007.Innovation-Schuerkens.24.08.06.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Erdmute Alber & Jörn Sommer, 1999. "Grenzen der Implementierung staatlichen Rechts im dörflichen Kontext. Eine Analyse der Rechtswirklichkeit in einem Baatombu-Dorf in Benin," Africa Spectrum, Institute of African Affairs, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 34(1), pages 85-111.
    2. Kohnert, Dirk & Elwert, Georg & Bierschenk, Thomas, 1993. "The long-term effects of development aid - Empirical studies in rural West Africa," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 83-111.
    3. Thomas Bierschenk, 1999. "Herrschaft, Verhandlung und Gewalt in einer afrikanischen Mittelstadt (Parakou, Benin)," Africa Spectrum, Institute of African Affairs, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 34(3), pages 321-348.
    4. Kees Burger & Paul Collier & Jan Willem Gunning, 1993. "Social learning: an application to Kenyan agriculture," CSAE Working Paper Series 1993-05, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    5. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2004. "Greed and grievance in civil war," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 563-595, October.
    6. Emily Chamlee, 1993. "Indigenous African Institutions and Economic Development," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 13(1), pages 79-99, Spring/Su.
    7. Jean Comaroff & John Comaroff, 2000. "Privatizing the millenium. New protestant ethics and the spirits of capitalism in Africa, and elsewhere," Africa Spectrum, Institute of African Affairs, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 35(3), pages 293-312.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kohnert, Dirk, 2007. "Togo: Failed election and misguided aid at the roots of economic misery," MPRA Paper 5207, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    culture of innovation; Benin; Haiti; African diaspora; African religion; development; pro-poor agency;

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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