Political settlements and the politics of industrial policy

Date: 29 March 2013

Venue: IOB - Lange St Annastraat 7 - 2000 Antwerpen

Short description: Seminar: African experiences by Lindsay Whitfield - Roskilde University.

The turnaround in economic growth in Emerging African countries since the mid-1990s has not been accompanied by a substantial change in the pace and extent of economic transformation in most African countries. African countries present a particular puzzle given the generally low productive capabilities of domestic firms and farms. What kind of domestic politics facilitates expanding production, investing in learning, and developing technological capabilities? The key questions this presentation seek to answer are what drives African governments to pursue initiatives to develop particular industries, in which sectors do they seek to intervene and with what kind of initiatives, and what factors determine their degree of success in implementing such initiatives? It does so by drawing on cases of four Emerging African Countries: Ghana, Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda and drawing on contingent generalizations based on their experiences. The theoretical approach employed focuses not on state characteristics, but on those who occupy positions within the state: ruling elites and the ruling coalitions that keep them in power. It emphasizes the interface between the political rationales driving how ruling coalitions maintain themselves in power and the economic rationales driving how to change the productive structures of their economies.