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A Historical Political Economy Approach to Africa’s Economic Development: A Critique of Thandika Mkandawire’s Interests and Incentives, Ideas, and Institutions

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Abstract

This chapter is concerned with a notable African scholar-diplomat—a political economic doyen—Malawi’s Thandika Mkandawire and his major contributions towards Africa’s economic development in both policy, theory and practice. Since the period of colonization, development in Africa has been largely directed by external actors. “Development” has therefore come to be viewed as a commodity in which industrialized Western countries and their institutions (notably the United Nations [UN], the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund [IMF]) have been the main producers and sellers of development products (consisting of ideas, policies, projects, expertise, technology, and equipment), while underdeveloped African countries have bought into this “development market” as willing buyers. This chapter, therefore, focuses on the academic contributions of an accomplished political economic scientist, Thandika Mkandawire, and, more specifically, on his efforts in carving Africa’s development that has broadened our knowledge and understanding of the political economy of Africa’s development.

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Notes

  1. 1.

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  2. 2.

    Nagar, Dawn. 2018. “Conclusion.” In Africa and the World: Bilateral and Multilateral International Diplomacy, edited by Dawn Nagar and Charles Mutasa, 499–520. Palgrave Macmillan.

  3. 3.

    Mkandawire, Thandika. 2010. “From maladjusted states to democratic developmental states in Africa.” In Constructing a Democratic Developmental State in South Africa: Potentials and Challenges, edited by Omano Edigheji. Cape Town: Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), p. 59.

  4. 4.

    Mkandawire, Thandika. 2008. “Social Sciences and the Next Development Agenda.” Forum for Development Studies 35 (1): 101–117.

  5. 5.

    Ibid., 113.

  6. 6.

    Mkandawire, Thandika. 2010. “From maladjusted states to democratic developmental states in Africa.” In Constructing a Democratic Developmental State in South Africa: Potentials and Challenges, edited by Omano Edigheji. Cape Town: Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), p. 59.

  7. 7.

    Mkandawire, Thandika. 2014. “The Spread of Economic Doctrines and Policymaking in Postcolonial Africa.” African Studies Review 171–198.

  8. 8.

    Robinson, Mark, and Gordon White. 1998. “Introduction.” In The Democratic Developmental State: Political and Institutional Design, edited by Mark Robinson and Gordon White, 1–13. New York: Oxford University Press Inc., p. 3; White, Gordon. 1998. “Constructing a Democratic Developmental State.” In The Democratic Developmental State: Political and Institutional Design, edited by Mark Robinson and Gordon White, 17–51. New York: Oxford University Press Inc., p. 20.

  9. 9.

    Mkandawire, Thandika. 2014. “Can Africa Turn from Recovery to Development?” Current History 113 (763): 171–177.

  10. 10.

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  11. 11.

    Ibid., 9.

  12. 12.

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  13. 13.

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  14. 14.

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  15. 15.

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  16. 16.

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  19. 19.

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  20. 20.

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  21. 21.

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  23. 23.

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  24. 24.

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  25. 25.

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  31. 31.

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  33. 33.

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  34. 34.

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  35. 35.

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  36. 36.

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  37. 37.

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  39. 39.

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  40. 40.

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  41. 41.

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  44. 44.

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  45. 45.

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  46. 46.

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  47. 47.

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  48. 48.

    Ibid., 175.

  49. 49.

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  50. 50.

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  51. 51.

    Mkandawire, Thandika. 2014. “The Spread of Economic Doctrines and Policymaking in Postcolonial Africa.” African Studies Review, p. 174.

  52. 52.

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  53. 53.

    Kankwenda, Mbaya J. 2015. “Rethinking the Vision for Development in Africa.” In Africa and the Millennium Development Goals: Progress, Problems, and Prospects, edited by Charles Mutasa and Mark Paterson, 17–32. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield.

  54. 54.

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  55. 55.

    Ibid.

  56. 56.

    Nagar, Dawn. 2018. “Conclusion.” In Africa and the World: Bilateral and Multilateral International Diplomacy, edited by Dawn Nagar and Charles Mutasa, 499–520. Palgrave Macmillan, p. 502.

  57. 57.

    Mkandawire, Thandika. 2014. “The Spread of Economic Doctrines and Policymaking in Postcolonial Africa.” African Studies Review, p. 177.

  58. 58.

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  59. 59.

    McGowan, Patrick J., and Philip Nel. 2002. Power, Wealth and Global Equity: An International Relations Textbook for Africa, Second Edition. Cape Town: UCT Press, p. 353.

  60. 60.

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  61. 61.

    Nagar, Marcel. 2015. Democratic Developmental States in Southern Africa: A Study of Botswana and South Africa. Master’s Thesis, Cape Town: University of Cape Town, p. 8.

  62. 62.

    Ibid., 8.

  63. 63.

    Nagar, Dawn. 2018. “Conclusion.” In Africa and the World: Bilateral and Multilateral International Diplomacy, edited by Dawn Nagar and Charles Mutasa, 499–520. Palgrave Macmillan, p. 507.

  64. 64.

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  65. 65.

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  70. 70.

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  71. 71.

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  72. 72.

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  73. 73.

    Mkandawire, Thandika. 2014. “The Spread of Economic Doctrines and Policymaking in Postcolonial Africa.” African Studies Review, p. 183.

  74. 74.

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  75. 75.

    Mkandawire, Thandika. 2010. “From maladjusted states to democratic developmental states in Africa.” In Constructing a Democratic Developmental State in South Africa: Potentials and Challenges, edited by Omano Edigheji, 59–81. Cape Town: Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC).

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    Mkandawire, Thandika. 2014. “The Spread of Economic Doctrines and Policymaking in Postcolonial Africa.” African Studies Review, p. 174.

  77. 77.

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  78. 78.

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  79. 79.

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  82. 82.

    Nagar, Dawn. 2018. “Conclusion.” In Africa and the World: Bilateral and Multilateral International Diplomacy, edited by Dawn Nagar and Charles Mutasa, 499–520. Palgrave Macmillan, p. 509.

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  84. 84.

    Nagar, Dawn. 2018. “Conclusion.” In Africa and the World: Bilateral and Multilateral International Diplomacy, edited by Dawn Nagar and Charles Mutasa, 499–520. Palgrave Macmillan, p. 510.

  85. 85.

    Mkandawire, Thandika. 2014. “The Spread of Economic Doctrines and Policymaking in Postcolonial Africa.” African Studies Review, p. 187.

  86. 86.

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  87. 87.

    Mkandawire, Thandika. 2014. “The Spread of Economic Doctrines and Policymaking in Postcolonial Africa.” African Studies Review, p. 189.

  88. 88.

    Mkandawire, Thandika. 2011. “Running While Others Walk: Knowledge and the Challenge of Africa’s Development.” Africa Development 36 (2): 20.

  89. 89.

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  90. 90.

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  93. 93.

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  94. 94.

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  96. 96.

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  97. 97.

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  99. 99.

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  100. 100.

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Nagar, M. (2020). A Historical Political Economy Approach to Africa’s Economic Development: A Critique of Thandika Mkandawire’s Interests and Incentives, Ideas, and Institutions. 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_12

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