Recent discontent with the notions of the state and state formation in the African context and an accompanying preoccupation with the ‘decline of the state’ has much to do with the way that the state and state formation have been conceptualized. There has been much discussion of late of the ‘overdeveloped’, ‘underdeveloped’, or ‘soft’ state, plus ‘uncaptured’ populations and ‘exit options’. These notions were a reaction to the shattered illusions of a post-colonial voluntarist view of the state that was held by many analysts and actors alike. It had various modernization, democratic, neo-colonial, socialist and revolutionary versions. There was an assumption of malleability of both state and society, of linear success and increasing strength that has been increasingly belied by evidence of uneven (and even diminishing) control, resilience of traditional authority patterns, poor economic performance, debt and infrastructure crises, the emergence of magendo or second economies, reductions in administrative performance, curtailment of capacities, political instability and resistance and withdrawal. Underlying these new discussions is often a tone of surprise and bewilderment. Believing that a broader historical, comparative and analytic perspective is useful, this chapter will present and delineate the notion of the patrimonial administrative state as the underlying form of domination in Africa today, above which floats a host of varying and changing ‘regime types’.
- International Monetary Fund
- African State
- Military Regime
- Colonial State
- Exit Option
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For the full exposition and documentation of the argument in this section, see Thomas M. Callaghy, The State—Society Struggle: Zaire in Comparative Perspective ( New York: Columbia University Press, 1984 ) pp. 7–79.
On the role of the IMF in Africa, see Thomas M. Callaghy, ‘The Political Economy of African Debt: The Case of Zaire’ in John Ravenhill (ed.), Africa in Economic Crisis (London: Macmillan, 1986), pp. 307–46
Thomas M. Callaghy. ‘Between Scylla and Charybdis: The Foreign Economic Relations of Sub-Saharan African States’ in Gerald J. Bender (ed.) The Annals, ‘International Affairs in Africa’ (January 1987);
also see Henry F. Jackson, ‘The African Crisis: Drought and Debt’, Foreign Affairs 63, 5 (Summer 1985): 1081–94;
and G. K. Helleiner, ed., Africa and the International Monetary Fund ( Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 1986 ).
On the World Bank, see Winsome Leslie, ‘The World Bank and Zaire’ in Nzongola-Ntalaja (ed.) The Crisis in Zaire: Myths and Realities, ( Trenton: Africa World Press, 1986 ), pp. 245–63.
Max Weber, Economy and Society ( Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978 ) p. 1099.
On statecraft in Africa, see Robert H. Jackson and Carl G. Rosberg, Personal Rule in Africa (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982); also see Lemarchand (Chapter 6), Rothchild (Chapter 5), and Kasfir (Chapter 2) in this volume.
Frederick Cooper, ‘Africa and the World Economy’, African Studies Review 24, 2–3 (June—September 1981): 46.
Cooper, ‘Africa and the World Economy’: 20–1. Also see Sara Berry, Fathers Work for Their Sons ( Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985 );
Michael G. Schatzberg, Politics and Class in Zaire ( New York: Africana Publishing, 1980 );
and Crawford Young and Thomas Turner, The Rise and Decline of the Zairian State ( Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1985 ) Chapter 4.
Adam Przeworski, ‘Proletariat into a Class’, Politics and Society 7, 4 (1977): 372.
Colin Leys, ‘African Economic Development in Theory and Practice’, Daedalus III, 2 (Spring 1982): 113;
Cooper, ‘Africa and the World Economy’,: 70n.168. Also see Sayre Schatz, ‘Pirate Capitalism and the Inert Economy of Nigeria’, Journal of Modern African Studies 22, 1 (1984): 45–57.
On the useful distinction between the status and role elements of administrative positions, see Robert Price, Society and Bureaucracy in Contemporary Ghana ( Berkeley: University of California Press, 1975 ).
See Thomas M. Callaghy, ‘External Actors and the Relative Autonomy of the Political Aristocracy in Zaire’, Journal of Commonwealth and Comparative Politics 21, 3 (November 1983): 61–83
Thomas M. Callaghy ‘Absolutism, Bonapartism, and the Formation of Ruling Classes: Zaire in Comparative Perspective’, in Irving L. Markovitz (ed.), Studies in Power and Class in Africa ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1987 );
Crawford Young, Ideology and Development in Africa (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982) chapter 4.
See Nicola Swainson, The Development of Corporate Capitalism in Kenya 1918–77 ( Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980 );
Gavin Kitching, Class and Economic Change in Kenya: The Making of African Bourgeoisie ( New Haven: Yale University Press, 1980 );
and Thomas J. Biersteker, Multinationals, the State, and the Control of the Economy: The Political Economy of Indigenization in Nigeria ( Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987 ) forthcoming.
Of particular interest is the operation of the magendo or black-market economy; see note 13 above and Nelson Kasfir, ‘State, Magendo and Class Formation in Zaire’, in Nelson Kasfir (ed.) State and Class in Africa (London: Frank Cass, 1984) pp. 84–103; and Janet MacGaffey, ‘Fending-for-Yourself: The Organization of the Second Economy in Zaire’ in Nzongola-Ntalaja (ed.), The Crisis in Zaire pp. 141–56.
Juan Linz, ‘Totalitarian and Authoritarian Regimes’, in Fred I. Greenstein and Nelson Polsby (eds), Handbook of Political Science ( Reading, Ma.: Addison-Wesley, 1975 ) p. 280.
For an assessment of the possibilities for democracy in Africa, see Thomas M. Callaghy, ‘Politics and Vision in Africa: The Interplay of Domination, Equality and Liberty’, in Patrick Chabal (ed.), Political Domination in Africa ( London and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986 ), pp. 30–51.
Nelson Kasfir, The Shrinking Political Arena ( Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976 ) p. 278.
Aristide Zolberg, Creating Political Order ( Chicago: Rand McNally, 1966 ) p. 126.
Aristide R. Zolberg, ‘Military Intervention in the New States of Tropical Africa’, in Henry Bienen (ed.), The Military Intervenes ( New York: Sage, 1968 ) p. 94.
Samuel Decalo, Coups and Army Rule in Africa ( New Haven: Yale University Press, 1976 ) p. 240;
and Aristide R. Zolberg, ‘Military Rule and Political Development in Tropical Africa’, in Jacques van Doorn (ed.), The Military Profession and Military Regimes ( Hague: Mouton, 1969 ) p. 168.
Also see S. J. Baynham (ed.), Military Power and Politics in Black Africa ( London: Croom Helm, 1985 )
and Isaac J. Mowoe (ed), The Performance of Soldiers as Governors ( Washington, D.C.: University Press of America, 1980 ).
For a detailed look at these processes in Zaire, see Callaghy, The State-Society Struggle, chapters 5–7; Young and Turner, The Rise and Decline of the Zairian State, chapter 8; and Michael G. Schatzberg, Politics and State in Zaire: The Mechanics of Coercion in Lisala ( Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987 ) forthcoming.
In regard to Zaire, see Vwakyanakazi Mukohya, ‘African Traders in Butembo, Eastern Zaire’, Ph.D. dissertation (University of Wisconsin, 1982);
and Bianga Waruzi, ‘Peasant, State and Rural Development in Postindependent Zaire’, Ph.D. dissertation (University of Wisconsin, 1982 ).
In this regard, John Lonsdale notes: ‘Africa’s modes of production have not been so transformed in incorporation into global capitalism that all its people have been captured. There is still a great deal that states cannot control’: ‘States and Social Processes in Africa’, African Studies Review 24, 2–3 (June-September 1981 ): 205.
For a sane, balanced view of class in Africa, see Henry Cooperstock, ‘Social Stratification in Tropical Africa’, in Timothy M. Shaw and Kenneth A. Heard (eds), The Politics of Africa: Dependence and Development (New York: Africana Publishing, 1979) pp. 23–38.; see also note 8 above.
See Eli R. Hecksher, Mercantilism ( London: Allen and Unwin, 1935 );
Charles Cole, Colbert and the Century of Mercantilism ( Hamden, Ct.: Anchor Books, 1964 );
and Walter E. Minchinton (ed.), Mercantilism: System or Expediency? ( Lexington: Heath, 1969 ).
On the development of capitalism in Europe, see Maurice Dobb, Studies in the Development of Capitalism ( New York: International, 1963 );
E. L. Jones, The European Miracle ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981 );
and Douglass C. North and Robert Paul Thomas, The Rise of the Western World: A New Economic History ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1973 ).
See Carl G. Rosberg and Thomas M. Callaghy (eds), Socialism in Sub-Saharan Africa: A New Assessment ( Berkeley: Institute of International Studies, 1979 ).
Eli R. Heckscher, ‘Mercantilism’ in Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences ( New York: Macmillan, 1937 ) IX, p. 339.
Cooper, ‘Africa and the World Economy’, p. 51; also see John Iliffe, The Emergence of African Capitalism ( London: Macmillan, 1983 ).
On the ‘exit option’, see Goran Hyden, Beyond Ujamaa (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980)
and Goran Hyden, No Short Cuts to Progress ( Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983 ).
G. K. Helleiner, ‘The IMF and Africa in 1980s’, Canadian Journal of African Studies 17, 1 (1983): 28–9.
Aristide R. Zolberg, ‘A View from the Congo’, World Politics 19, 1 (October 1966): 137–49.
Crawford Young, ‘Patterns of Social Conflict: State, Class, and Ethnicity’, Daedalus III, 2 (Spring 1982): 94.
Richard A. Joseph, ‘Class, State, and Prebendal Politics in Nigeria’, Journal of Commonwealth and Comparative Politics 21, 3 (November 1983): 20–24, 30;
also see the fine piece by Larry Diamond, ‘The Political Economy of Corruption in Nigeria’, paper presented to the 27th annual meeting of the African Studies Association (Los Angeles, California, 25–8 October 1984 ).
Joseph, ‘Class, State and Prebendal Politics’: 30, 32, 34. A similar argument can be made for Ghana; see Rothchild and Gyimah-Boadi, ‘Ghana’s Demodernization’, and Naomi Chazan, An Anatomy of Ghanaian Politics: Managing Political Recession, 1969–1982 ( Boulder, Co.: Westview Press, 1983 ).
Editors and Affiliations
© 1987 Zaki Ergas
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Callaghy, T.M. (1987). The State as Lame Leviathan: The Patrimonial Administrative State in Africa. In: Ergas, Z. (eds) The African State in Transition. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-349-18886-4_5
Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, London
Print ISBN: 978-1-349-18888-8
Online ISBN: 978-1-349-18886-4