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  • Author: Lindsay Whitfield
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Ghana has exhibited rather strong economic growth since the 1980s, but little transformation of the productive structure of its economy. The paper argues that ruling elites' policy choices are shaped by their political survival strategies. In turn, these strategies are shaped by (1) the characteristics of the ruling coalitions, which include a high degree of vulnerability in power, strong lower-level factions of the ruling coalition, and a substantial amount of fragmentation among the higher factions of the ruling coalition; (2) the weak capabilities and political influence of the nascent productive capitalists; and (3) easy access to financing for the state and the ruling coalition from foreign aid, mining and cocoa bean exports. As a result, ruling elites' policy actions did not prioritize the development of new productive sectors (or upgrading of old ones), but were geared towards delivering benefits to the higher and lower levels of the ruling coalition, as well as delivering a small amount of visible goods and services to as much of the population as possible in an effort to 'swing' voters their way at election time. Neither of these political survival strategies resulted in significant productive sector investments.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Politics, Social Stratification, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Author: Lindsay Whitfield
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Since the Fourth Republic was inaugurated in 1993, politics in Ghana has been increasingly characterized by competitive clientelism. Ruling coalitions are characterized by a high degree of vulnerability in power due to a strong opposition party, by strong lower-level factions within the ruling coalition due to their importance in winning elections, and by a high degree of fragmentation among the ruling elite. These characteristics, combined with a weak domestic capitalist class and high inflows of foreign aid, have led the ruling elites across political parties to pursue and implement policies that have a short time horizon, that do not significantly shift the allocation of resources towards building productive sectors, and which are often plagued by problems of enforcement. The results have led to growth without economic transformation. In particular, the country has witnessed recurrent macroeconomic instability, a haphazard process of privatization of state-owned enterprises, and no serious attempt to build up productive sectors outside of cocoa and gold.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, Politics, Social Stratification, Foreign Aid, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Author: Lindsay Whitfield
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The nascent Ghanaian horticulture export sector, which emerged in the mid-1980s, has been ignored by ruling elites, especially after the return to multiparty democracy in 1993. Ruling elites across the two party governments between 1993 and 2008 did not actively pursue initiatives to support the industry. Without sustained political support, the types of public-private coordination of actions and investments needed to help the sector expand and upgrade were not forthcoming in an effective and timely manner. This private sector-driven non-traditional export sector constitutes a neglected opportunity for export diversification and building a new agro-industry, and also highlights some of the factors explaining why the country's economy was still dependent on the traditional exports of cocoa and gold by the close of the 2000s. The political challenges to changing the productive structure in Ghana can be found in the characteristics of ruling coalitions–vulnerability of the ruling elite in power, the high fragmentation within ruling coalitions, and their existing sources of and strategies for financing the state and the ruling coalition, combined with the country's existing economic structure as well as the size and capabilities of domestic capitalists. The characteristics of ruling coalitions in Ghana shaped the incentives facing ruling elites such that the ruling elites were not sufficiently compelled to support new productive sectors, such as horticulture export, which did not (yet) provide substantial revenues.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Social Stratification, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Author: Peter Hansen
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper examines remittance and diaspora policy formation in Tanzania as cargo cult. Both migration-development policy formation and cargo cults express the belief in the miraculous transformation of the local by the arrival of wealth emanating from the outside. The paper is based on ethnographic research in Dares Salaam, and adds to our understanding of the links between migration and development in Tanzania, and to our understanding of the relationship between remittances and the state, where the underlying cultural values, ideas and imaginaries expressed in remittance policies and thinking have been ignored.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Tanzania
  • Author: Lindsay Whitfield
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The economic policy agenda which promoted a non-interventionist state, trade openness, deregulation, liberalization and privatization as the formula for unleashing private sector productive forces in developing countries is discredited. The economic record of the past decades does not support this theory. Former proponents of the agenda acknowledge that the 'supply side' response of the private sector, especially in African countries, has not been what was expected in reaction to these economic reforms. Consensus is building on the need for industrial policy, and the debate is over what kinds of state interventions are likely to help build the private sector. Thus, the time is ripe for an evidence-based discussion of what is 'private sector development' in Africa, and how it promote it. In order to move the debate forward, we need more analyses of how actual existing industries are created, expanded and remain competitive in the contemporary global economic context.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Economics, Globalization
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Sam Jones
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Careful consideration of the appropriate level and composition of aggregate public spending is vital in low income countries, especially in the presence of large volumes of foreign aid. Not only can expansion of the public sector weaken economic growth, but also provision of public services may be difficult to re­trench. These issues are relevant to Mozambique as the share of government in GDP already is comparatively high and strategic management of aggregate public spending historically has been weak. A new long-term macroeconomic model quantifies the implications of alternative aggregate spending profiles. It shows that small increases in minimum levels of government spending correspond to large increases in the duration to aid independence. Sharp reductions in aid availability would necessitate significant fiscal and economic adjustments, including cuts in real public spending per capita. For this reason, there is no room for complacency as regards the future of development finance to Mozambique.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Humanitarian Aid, International Political Economy, Poverty, Third World
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Sam Jones, Peter Gibbon, Yumiao Lin
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper examines the revenue effects of certified organic contract farming and of use of organic farming methods in a tropical African context. These are compared with 'organic by default' conventional farming systems without contractual relations. Survey data from a medium-size cocoa-vanilla contract farming scheme in Uganda is reported using a standard OLS regression and propensity score matching approaches. The analysis finds that there are positive revenue effects for the certified crops from both participation and, more modestly, from using organic farming techniques.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Dennis Rweyemamu
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Tanzania's current growth and poverty reduction strategies are contained in its second PRSP. This document, and the processes leading to its formulation, has helped to mobilize donor funds. However, the content of the PRSP is largely irrelevant for implementation, and has contributed little to better inter-sectoral linkages and synergies both of which were its main purposes. The immediate reasons for this irrelevancy include a participatory planning process not aligned with the domestic political process and with no budget constraints which led to a shopping list of un-prioritized initiatives; an implementation machinery around the budget process which in practice does not ensure that resources are allocated in line with the document's priorities; and limited understanding and/ or acceptance across the spectrum of government institutions and political leadership that the PRSP is the overall strategic guiding document.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Poverty, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa, Tanzania
  • Author: Lindsay Whitfield
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper describes and explains the impact of the international-driven 'New Poverty Agenda' in Ghana, focusing on the impact of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) adopted by the New Patriotic Party government in power from 2001 until 2008. The paper argues that the New Poverty Agenda has had some impacts, but not they have been limited and not necessarily helpful in achieving long term poverty reduction. The PRSP was seen by the government in Ghana as necessary to secure debt relief and donor resources, and the strategies produced by the government contained broad objectives rather than concrete strategies on how to achieve those objectives and thus had little impact on government actions. The paper discusses what was actually implemented under the NPP government and the factors influencing those actions. It highlights the constraints Ghanaian governments face in pursuing economic transformation within contemporary domestic and international contexts.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Peter Hansen
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper examines the role of the mild stimulant khat in the economic and political transformation of the independent, yet internationally unrecognized Republic of Somaliland. Rather than seeing khat as a hindrance for nation-state formation and as a developmental problem, the paper argues that khat has been important to the economic viability of Somaliland and to the formation of political practices and identities. In this sense, khat should be seen not only as a drug contributing to violence, state failure and inadequate development, but also as underpinning economic processes, political identities and societal structures that have been crucial to the formation and political success of Somaliland. The paper adds to our understanding of the links between emerging political and economic orders in a post-conflict society.
  • Topic: Economics, Peace Studies, Political Economy, Narcotics Trafficking, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Africa, Somalia