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The Political Economy of Claude Ake

Part of the Palgrave Handbooks in IPE book series (PHIPE)

Abstract

This chapter focuses on the political economy of Claude Ake, particularly his theoretical matrix, its evolution from sheer liberalism and transformation to radical political economy—a neo-Marxian analysis of the post-colonial state in Africa—to underline its exploitative character and relations of domination while projecting democratic and popular alternatives. Simultaneously, it examines his political thoughts and the insight he offers into the understanding of the state, politics and economy in sub-Saharan Africa and Nigeria in particular. It argues that Ake’s theoretical handle, and the simple but rigorous ways he wields it, marks the turning point in his career as a political scientist and public intellectual. Some of his key works are succinctly reviewed to underscore this point. Apart from scholarship, it is argued that his efforts at establishing the Centre for Advanced Social Sciences (CASS), a think tank for social science research, underline his praxis. The chapter concludes on a mixed note—apprehensive about continuity of Ake’s scholarly tradition by succeeding generations while exhorting younger generation of scholars in the continent to follow his footstep to deepen their critical consciousness in engaging with the African reality.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Department of Political Science, Lagos State University, student’s hand book, 2018–2022 (Lagos: Department of Political Science).

  2. 2.

    Jeremiah O. Arowosegbe. “Claude E. Ake: Political Integration and Challenges of Nationhood in Africa,” Development and Change 42, no. 1 (2011): 349.

  3. 3.

    Ibid.

  4. 4.

    David Sanders. “Behaviouralism,” in Theory and Methods in Political Science, eds. David Marsh and Gerry Stoker, 2nd edition (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002), 45.

  5. 5.

    Arowosegbe, “Claude Ake…,” 350.

  6. 6.

    Walter Rodney, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa (Abuja: Panaf Publishing, 2009), 16.

  7. 7.

    Arowosegbe, “Claude Ake…,” 350.

  8. 8.

    Zoran Stefanović and Branislav Mitrović. “The Contribution of Radical Political Economy to Understanding the Great Recession.” Economics and Organization 8, no. 4 (2011): 345.

  9. 9.

    Claude Ake, Revolutionary Pressure in Africa (London: Zed Press Ltd., 1978), 11.

  10. 10.

    Ibid., 25.

  11. 11.

    Claude Ake, Social Science as Imperialism, The theory of political development (Ibadan: Ibadan University Press, 1982 [1979]), 77.

  12. 12.

    Claude Ake, “Social Science as Imperialism...,” xiv.

  13. 13.

    Ake, “Social Science as Imperialism,” xviii.

  14. 14.

    Claude Ake, A Political Economy of Africa (London: Longman, 1981).

  15. 15.

    Y. Varga, Politico-Economic Problems of Capitalism (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1968), 23.

  16. 16.

    Sylvester Odion Akhaine. “Political Economy, Post-modernism and Corruption in Nigeria.” Paper presented at the International Conference on Policy, Conflict and Strategic Studies, Babcock University (June 13–15, 2006).

  17. 17.

    Ake, “A political Economy of Africa,” vi.

  18. 18.

    Ibid., 198.

  19. 19.

    Moses. K. Tesi. “Review of Political Economy of Nigeria by Claude Ake.” Journal of Third World Studies 4, no. 2 (1987), 200–201.

  20. 20.

    Claude Ake. Democracy and Development in Africa. (Ibadan: Spectrum Books Limited, 2001 [1996]), 3.

  21. 21.

    Jeremiah O. Arowosegbe. “State Reconstruction in Africa: the relevance of Claude Ake’s political thought.” International Affairs, 87, no. 3 (May 2011), 655.

  22. 22.

    Ake, “A Political Economy of Africa,” 127.

  23. 23.

    Ibid.

  24. 24.

    Ibid., 43.

  25. 25.

    Ibid., 55.

  26. 26.

    Ibid., 107.

  27. 27.

    Ibid., 88.

  28. 28.

    Claude Ake, “Democracy and Development in Africa,” 3.

  29. 29.

    Ibid., 1.

  30. 30.

    Claude Ake. The Feasibility of Democracy in Africa. (Ibadan: Centre for Research, Documentation and University Exchange, 1992), 4.

  31. 31.

    Ibid.

  32. 32.

    Ibid., 7.

  33. 33.

    Kwame Nkrumah. Consciencism. (London: Panaf Books, 1964), 78.

  34. 34.

    Arowosegbe, “State Reconstruction in Africa...”, 654.

  35. 35.

    Eric Pace, “Claude Ake, 57, Nigerian Scholar and Activist,” New York Times, November 19, 1996, https://www.nytimes.com

  36. 36.

    Center for Advanced Social Science, “Mission Statement,” Center for Advanced Social Science, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

  37. 37.

    Ibid.

  38. 38.

    Ibid.

  39. 39.

    Pace, “Claude Ake, 57…”.

  40. 40.

    Cyril Obi and Ukoha Ukiwo. “Claude Ake (February 18, 1939–November 7, 1996).” June 6, 2010. https://nai.uu.se/scholarships/claude_ake/Claude-Ake-biotext-2010.pdf

  41. 41.

    Lawrence Efana. “In Memoriam—Claude Ake (1939–1996).” Nordic Journal of African Studies 5, no. 2 (1996): 99.

  42. 42.

    Samir Amin. The Neoliberal Virus: Permanent War and the Americanization of the World. James H. Membrez, Trans. (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2004).

  43. 43.

    Pambazuka News. “Claude Ake Memorial Award Program.” Pambazuka News. May 28, 2001, https://www.pambazuka.org

  44. 44.

    Correspondence from Prof. Eme Ekekwe, former Director, Claude Ake School of Government, December 31, 2018.

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Akhaine, S.O. (2020). The Political Economy of Claude Ake. In: Oloruntoba, S., Falola, T. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of African Political Economy. Palgrave Handbooks in IPE. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-38922-2_11

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