The Development of Capitalism in Africa: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Development of Capitalism in Africa

1st Edition

By John Sender, Sheila Smith


188 pages

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First published in 1986, this work challenges underdevelopment analyses of Africa’s past experiences and future prospects, and builds upon a very wide range of recent historical research to argue that the impact of Capitalism has resulted in economic progress and significant improvements in living standards. In marked contrast to the dependency approach, they propose that the important political and economic differences between the experiences of developing countries should be stressed and analysed. The argument is supported by a detailed look at the emergence since 1900 of capitalist social relations of production in nine different countries.


‘Witheringly critical of dogmatic World Bank and IMF beliefs that state intervention as such is likely to reduce economic welfare … The strength of the book is its thoroughly empirical foundation’ – Journal of Southern African Studies

‘Sender and Smith have provided much to argue about and their book can be recommended as a lively treatment of its subject and not least for its caustic rebukes to the faint-hearted. Anyone wearied by the writings of neo-Marxists, dependency theorists and populists on Africa can find relief here.’ – Times Higher Education Supplement

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Trade and Primary-Commodity Production Before Independence 3. The Emergence of Wage Labour 4. Trade, Industrialisation and the State of the Post-Colonial Period 5. Conclusion: Wishful Thinking or Effective Reality?

About the Series

Routledge Library Editions: Development

Routledge Library Editions: Development will re-issue works which address economic, political and social aspects of development. Published over more than four decades these books trace the emergence of development as one of the most important contemporary issues and one of the key areas of study for modern social science.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Economic Development
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / Urban
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Developing Countries