96
views
0
recommends
+1 Recommend
1 collections
    0
    shares

      From January 2024, all of our readers will be able to access every part of ROAPE as well as its archive without a paywall. This will make ROAPE accessible to a much wider readership, especially in Africa. We need subscriptions and donations to make this revolutionary intiative work. 

      Subscribe and Donate now!

       

      scite_
       
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: found
      Is Open Access

      Misunderstanding African politics: corruption & the governance agenda

      Published
      research-article
      a
      Review of African Political Economy
      Review of African Political Economy
      Bookmark

            Abstract

            Political corruption ‐ the misuse of public office or public responsibility for private (personal or sectional) gain ‐ has been an important theme of the neo‐liberal policies of adjustment, conditionality and democratization in Africa. Having identified the state as ‘the problem’, and liberalization and democratization as ‘the solution’ to that problem, it was inevitable that efforts to eradicate and control the widespread corruption characterising post‐colonial politics would be given a high priority by ‘the donors’. From the outset, proponents of structural reform linked political corruption to authoritarianism as an explanation of developmental failure, thereby identifying the arguments for democratization and ‘good governance’ with those for liberalization. This paper explores the way in which corruption has been understood in this ‘governance’ agenda and the efforts that have been made to control it by improving institutional performance and policing ‐ greater transparency and accountability, more effective oversight and punishment ‐ and by building a political culture intolerant of corruption. In general, however, legal and administrative reform has produced disappointing results and corruption has flourished and even increased. Failure has compounded cynicism and weakened faith in democratic change. Such failures suggest: firstly, that the anti‐corruption strategies pursued by international donors and imposed on African debtors are inadequate because of weaknesses in their conception of the state; secondly, that the reforms introduced through liberalization (a weakening of the state, deregulation and privatization) create new conditions in which corruption can flourish; and, thirdly, that fundamental features of African politics will need to change before such anti‐corruption measures can hope to succeed.

            Content

            Author and article information

            Journal
            crea20
            CREA
            Review of African Political Economy
            Review of African Political Economy
            0305-6244
            1740-1720
            June 1998
            : 25
            : 76
            : 221-240
            Affiliations
            a Department of Politics , University of Leeds , UK
            Article
            8704311 Review of African Political Economy, Vol. 25, No. 76, June 1998, pp. 221-240
            10.1080/03056249808704311
            60868061-5f21-4ced-b5bb-aac8fff3fb1c

            All content is freely available without charge to users or their institutions. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal without asking prior permission of the publisher or the author. Articles published in the journal are distributed under a http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

            History
            Page count
            Figures: 0, Tables: 0, References: 53, Pages: 20
            Categories
            Original Articles

            Sociology,Economic development,Political science,Labor & Demographic economics,Political economics,Africa

            Endnotes

            1. , Democracy Against Capitalism , Cambridge UP, 1995 (especially chapter 7),

            2. , The Great Transformation , Boston : Beacon , 1944 (especially chapters 12–14).

            Comments

            Comment on this article