Hegemony and State Softness: Some Variations in Elite Responses

  • Donald Rothchild


Until recently, American political science has been notable for its scant attention to the part played by the state in the policy process. Thus Samuel Huntington, observing the Americans’ general antipathy toward governmental power, comments on ‘the virtual absence of the concept of “the state” in American thought’.1 Such an oversight can be regarded as a serious shortcoming, especially in light of the political forces at work in contemporary Africa. To fail to understand the role of the state in the third world is to fail to gain an insight into the dynamic place of domestic decision-makers in the development process, or their possible role in mediating conflicts and competition among different interests in society.


African State State Softness African National Congress District Council Proportionality Principle 
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© Zaki Ergas 1987

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  • Donald Rothchild

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