IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/bwp/bwppap/esid-029-14.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Rethinking spatial inequalities in development: the primacy of politics and power relations

Author

Listed:
  • Abdul-Gafaru Abdulai

Abstract

This paper offers a political explanation to the problem of spatial inequality in developing countries, paying particular attention to the implications of patronage politics and inter-elite power relations for the spatial distribution of public goods. After showing that existing explanations of spatial inequality are at best partial, the paper argues that prospects for overcoming spatial inequalities in the clientelist-driven political environments of developing countries depend substantially on the ways in which elites from lagging regions are incorporated into ruling coalitions, and how such forms of incorporation shape their influence over resource allocation decisions and policy agenda more broadly. The paper also departs from much of the existing literature on spatial inequality by emphasising the need to understand 'powerlessness' on the part of lagging regions as stemming not necessarily from their political exclusion from political decision making structures, but also from their incorporation into such structures on terms that potentially underpin their poverty. Based on this argument, the paper proposes a new framework for exploring the deeper and more structural underpinnings of spatial inequality in developing countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Abdul-Gafaru Abdulai, 2014. "Rethinking spatial inequalities in development: the primacy of politics and power relations," Global Development Institute Working Paper Series esid-029-14, GDI, The University of Manchester.
  • Handle: RePEc:bwp:bwppap:esid-029-14
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.effective-states.org/wp-content/uploads/working_papers/final-pdfs/esid_wp_29_abdulai.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. J.S.L. McCombie, 1988. "A Synoptic View of Regional Growth and Unemployment: I - The Neoclassical Theory," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 25(4), pages 267-281, August.
    2. John Tomaney & Andy Pike & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2010. "Local and regional development in times of crisis," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 42(4), pages 771-779, April.
    3. Sandbrook,Richard & Edelman,Marc & Heller,Patrick & Teichman,Judith, 2007. "Social Democracy in the Global Periphery," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521867030.
    4. Gregory Clark & Rowena Gray, 2012. "Geography is not Destiny. Geography, Institutions and Literacy in England, 1837-1863," Working Papers 0015, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    5. Shankar, Raja & Shah, Anwar, 2003. "Bridging the Economic Divide Within Countries: A Scorecard on the Performance of Regional Policies in Reducing Regional Income Disparities," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(8), pages 1421-1441, August.
    6. David Mosse, 2010. "A Relational Approach to Durable Poverty, Inequality and Power," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(7), pages 1156-1178.
    7. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2004. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 131-165, June.
    8. Sandbrook,Richard & Edelman,Marc & Heller,Patrick & Teichman,Judith, 2007. "Social Democracy in the Global Periphery," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521686877.
    9. Bao, Shuming & Chang, Gene Hsin & Sachs, Jeffrey D. & Woo, Wing Thye, 2002. "Geographic factors and China's regional development under market reforms, 1978-1998," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 89-111.
    10. Faguet, Jean-Paul & Ali, Zulfiqar, 2009. "Making Reform Work: Institutions, Dispositions, and the Improving Health of Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 208-218, January.
    11. repec:cup:apsrev:v:68:y:1974:i:04:p:1605-1617_10 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Frederick Golooba-Mutebi & Sam Hickey, 2010. "Governing Chronic Poverty under Inclusive Liberalism: The Case of the Northern Uganda Social Action Fund," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(7), pages 1216-1239.
    13. Akihiko Kawaura, 2011. "Legislator Incentives In A Fragile Democracy: Evidence From Budget Allocation In Thailand," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(3), pages 407-415, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Abdul-Gafaru Abdulai, 2017. "The Political Economy of Regional Inequality in Ghana: Do Political Settlements Matter?," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 29(1), pages 213-229, January.
    2. Frédéric Gaspart & Pierre Pecher, 2019. "Ethnic Inclusiveness of the Central State Government and Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 28(2), pages 176-201.

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bwp:bwppap:esid-029-14. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Rowena Harding). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/wpmanuk.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.