Reciprocity and Statehood in Africa: From Clientelism to Cleptocracy

Paul, Axel T.. (2008) Reciprocity and Statehood in Africa: From Clientelism to Cleptocracy. International Review of Economics, 55 (1-2). pp. 209-227.

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There is considerable quarrel as to what extent the shape and malfunctioning of contemporary African states can be attributed to the colonial experience or whether the precolonial heritage must be taken into account. Generally, the correct answer is that both, precolonial forms of political organization and the imposition of the colonial state, characterize the African situation. Yet, it is possible to distinguish more specifically between the two formative influences and to gauge their particular importance. Empirically, the result of the colonial encounter was, on the one hand, a subversion of traditional concepts of legitimacy and, on the other hand, still is the fact that the development of market economies and liberal democracies remains unlikely. Theoretically, I propose to use the notion of reciprocity to describe and analyze three historical forms of power relations, namely, clientelism, colonialism and cleptocracy. By reconstructing the historicity and malleability of the concept, I try to show its usefulness and adequacy to outline basic features of societal organization.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Gesellschaftswissenschaften > Fachbereich Soziologie > Soziologie (Paul)
UniBasel Contributors:Paul, Axel
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:17 Nov 2021 08:20
Deposited On:17 Nov 2021 08:20

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