1st Edition

The Precarious Balance State And Society In Africa

By Donald Rothchild, Naomi Chazan Copyright 1988

    Since independence, the political institutions of many African states have undergone a process of consolidation and subsequent deterioration. Constrained by external economic dependency and an acute scarcity of economic and technical resources, state officials have demonstrated a diminished capacity to regulate their societies. Public policies are agreed upon but ineffectively implemented by the weak institutions of the state. Although scholars have analyzed the various facets of state-building in detail, little systematic attention has been given to the issue of the decline of the state and mechanisms to cope with state ineffectiveness in Africa. This book focuses especially on the character of the postcolonial state in Africa, the nature of and reasons for state deterioration, and the mechanisms and policies for coping with state malfunction. Scholars from Africa, the United States, Europe, and the Middle East combine a broad understanding of African political processes with expertise on specific regions. Their analytic and comparative perspective provides a comprehensive and timely treatment of this vital and heretofore neglected theme in African politics.

    Preface -- Introduction -- Reordering State-Society Relations: Incorporation and Disengagement -- The Changing State in Africa: Historical and State-Centric Perspectives -- The African Colonial State and Its Political Legacy -- The State and the Development of Capitalism in Africa: Theoretical, Historical, and Comparative Reflections -- States Without Citizens: An Emerging African Phenomenon -- The Changing State in Africa: Societal Perspectives -- Patterns of State-Society Incorporation and Disengagement in Africa -- The State, the Parallel Economy, and the Changing Structure of Patronage Systems -- Economic Disengagement and Class Formation in Zaire -- State Responses to Disintegration and Withdrawal: Adjustments in the Political Economy -- Women and the State in Africa -- The Changing State in Africa: Government and International Perspectives -- African States and the Politics of Inclusive Coalitions -- Three Levels of State Reordering: The Structural Aspects -- Redrawing the Map of Africa? -- State of Crisis: International Constraints, Contradictions, and Capitalisms? -- Conclusion -- State and Society in Africa: Images and Challenges


    Donald Rothchild is professor of political science at the University of California, Davis. He is the author of Racial Bargaining in Independent Kenya and coeditor of State Versus Ethnic Claims: African Policy Dilemmas (Westview, 1982). Naomi Chazan is senior lecturer in political science and African studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is the author of An Anatomy of Ghanaian Politics: Managing Political Recession, 19691982 (Westview, 1983) and coauthor of Ghana: Coping with Uncertainty (Westview, 1986).