Governance for Development in Africa Solving Collective Action Problems

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2013-11-05
  • Publisher: Zed Books

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Drawing on in-depth empirical research spanning a number of countries in Africa, Booth and McCormick's path-breaking book offers both an accessible overview of issues surrounding governance for development on the continent, whilst also offering a bold new alternative. In doing so, they controversially argue that externally imposed 'good governance' approaches make unrealistic assumptions about the choices leaders and officials are, in practice, able to make. As a result, reform initiatives and assistance programmes supported by donors regularly fail, while ignoring the potential for addressing the causes rather than the symptoms of this situation. In reality, the authors show, anti-developmental behaviours stem from unresolved - yet in principle soluble - 'collective-action problems'.

Governance for Development in Africa offers a comprehensive and critical examination of the institutional barriers to economic and social progress in Africa, and makes a compelling plea for fresh policy thinking and new ways of envisioning so-called 'good governance'.

Author Biography

David Booth is a Research Fellow at the Overseas Development Institute. Prior to this, he was a university academic at Hull and Swansea, latterly as Professor of Development Studies. He has been editor of the journal Development Policy Review (2000-09) and Director of the Africa Power and Politics Programme (2007-12). He now coordinates a joint project on Developmental Regimes in Africa while also contributing to training courses in applied political economy analysis for development agencies worldwide. David's publications include Rethinking Social Development (1994), Fighting Poverty in Africa: Are PRSPs Making a Difference? (2003), Good Governance, Aid Modalities and Poverty Reduction (2008), Working with the Grain? Rethinking African Governance (2011) and Development as a Collective Action Problem (2012). He has authored numerous journal articles, ODI papers and blogs in related fields.

Diana Cammack is a Research Fellow at the Overseas Development Institute. She obtained her PhD at the University of California, and specialised in South African history. As a SSRC-MacArthur fellow on Peace and Security in a Changing World she retrained at Oxford University in the early 1990s in human rights and the politics of aid. Diana led the politics and governance team at the Overseas Development Institute for three years and between 2008-12 she headed the Local Governance and Leadership stream of the Africa Power and Politics Programme. She has worked as a consultant researcher in sub-Saharan Africa for three decades. In recent years she has specialised in political economy studies, with a focus on the link between politics and development in neopatrimonial and fragile states.

Table of Contents

1. From 'Good Governance' to Governance That Works
2. The Country Contexts
3. Maternal Health: Why is Rwanda Doing Better than Malawi, Niger and Uganda?
4. The Politics of Policy Incoherence and Provider Indiscipline
5. The Space for Local Problem-Solving and Practical Hybridity

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