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Institutions, gouvernance et croissance de long terme à Madagascar : l'enigme et le paradoxe


  • Mireille Razafindrakoto

    () (IRD, UMR DIAL, PSL, Université Paris-Dauphine)

  • François Roubaud

    () (IRD, UMR DIAL, PSL, Université Paris-Dauphine)

  • Jean-Michel Wachsberger

    () (Université Lille 3, UMR DIAL)


(english) The classical and more recent theories on development all fail to explain Madagascar’s long-running economic underperformance. This paper proposes a reinterpretation of Malagasy history based on the analytical framework of political economy. Our analyses point to the fact that, despite deep-rooted blockages, Madagascar has shown an unexpected capacity to transform and modernise: economic transition (with the emergence of a new entrepreneurial class) and political transition (with democratic alternation of power); the setting up of sound institutions that characterise “modern” societies; control of violence; and the Malagasy people’s expression of their economic and civic aspirations. However, three structural constraints hinder the country’s development. Firstly, social fragmentation, an atomised population and the atrophy of intermediary bodies foster a high concentration of power in the hands of a few elites who are neither compelled nor encouraged to develop a medium- or long-term vision and take the interests of the vast majority into consideration. Secondly, although the Malagasy people lay claim to democratic principles, they remain torn between the demands of democratic and meritocratic nature and the traditional values that impose respect for the real and symbolic hierarchies they have inherited from the past. Finally, although the policies promoted and sometimes imposed by international donors may have had some positive effects, they have also had a hugely negative impact on the State’s capacity to regulate society. _________________________________ (français) Les théories classiques et récentes du développement sont impuissantes à expliquer la contreperformance économique malgache sur longue période. Cet article propose une relecture de l'histoire malgache en mobilisant le cadre d’analyse de l’économie politique. Nos analyses pointent qu’en dépit de facteurs de blocage profonds, Madagascar a fait montre d'une capacité de transformation d'une modernité inattendue : transitions économique (avec l'arrivée d'une classe d'entrepreneurs nouveaux) et politique (avec les alternances démocratiques) ; mise en place d'institutions solides caractéristiques des sociétés « modernes » ; contrôle de la violence ; expression des aspirations économiques et citoyennes de la population. Trois entraves structurelles s’opposent en revanche au développement du pays : la fragmentation de la société, l'atomisation de la population et l'atrophie des corps intermédiaires favorisent une forte concentration du pouvoir aux mains d'une poignée d'élites qui n'est ni contrainte ni incitée à avoir une vision de moyen/long terme et à prendre en compte les intérêts de la grande majorité ; malgré sa revendication des principes démocratiques, la population reste tiraillée entre des revendications citoyennes de type démocratique et méritocratique et des valeurs traditionnelles qui imposent le respect de hiérarchies réelles et symboliques héritées du passé ; enfin, les politiques promues, voire imposées, par les bailleurs de fonds, si elles ont pu avoir des effets positifs, ont également eu un impact négatif majeur sur la capacité de l'Etat à réguler la société.

Suggested Citation

  • Mireille Razafindrakoto & François Roubaud & Jean-Michel Wachsberger, 2013. "Institutions, gouvernance et croissance de long terme à Madagascar : l'enigme et le paradoxe," Working Papers DT/2013/13, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
  • Handle: RePEc:dia:wpaper:dt201313

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jean-Pierre Raison, 1991. "Dynamismes ruraux et contrastes fonciers dans Madagascar en crise," Revue Tiers Monde, Programme National Persée, vol. 32(128), pages 901-915.
    2. 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.
    3. Cling, Jean-Pierre & Razafindrakoto, Mireille & Roubaud, Francois, 2005. "Export processing zones in Madagascar: a success story under threat?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 785-803, May.
    4. François Roubaud, 2001. "Démocratie électorale et inertie institutionnelle à Madagascar," Working Papers DT/2001/03, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    5. Charles Oman & Christiane Arndt, 2006. "Governance Indicators for Development," OECD Development Centre Policy Insights 33, OECD Publishing.
    6. Andrimihaja, Noro Aina & Cinyabuguma, Matthias & Devarajan, Shantayanan, 2011. "Avoiding the fragility trap in Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5884, The World Bank.
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    More about this item


    Violence; Political economy; Madagascar; Elite; long term growth; social structure; Rents; Violence; Economie politique; Madagascar; Elites; Croissance de long terme; structure sociale; Rentes.;

    JEL classification:

    • N37 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Africa; Oceania
    • N47 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Africa; Oceania
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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