Despite Ghana's strong democratic track record in recent decades, the economy remains underdeveloped. Industrial policies are necessary to transform the colonial trading economy that Ghana inherited at independence, but successive governments have been unwilling or unable to implement them. In this highly original interpretation, supported by new empirical material, Lindsay Whitfield exposes the reasons for why the Ghanaian economy remains underdeveloped and sets her theory in the wider African context. She offers a new way of thinking about the political economy of Africa that charts a clear path away from defining Africa in terms of neopatrimonial politics and that provides new conceptual tools for addressing what kind of business-state relations are necessary to drive economic development. As a study of Ghana that addresses both the economy and politics from early colonialism to the present day, this is a must-read for any student or scholar interested in the political economy of development in Africa.
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Lindsay Whitfield is an Associate Professor in the Department of Social Sciences and Business at Roskilde Universitet, Denmark. She is the author of The Politics of African Industrial Policy: A Comparative Perspective (Cambridge, 2015), The Politics of Aid: African Strategies for Dealing with Donors (2008), and Turning Points in African Democracy (2008). She is also the current co-editor of African Affairs (one of the leading journals in African studies).
1. Ghanaian political economy and the politics of industrial policy; 2. Origins of competitive clientelism and weak domestic capitalists; 3. Return to competitive clientelism in the fourth republic; 4. Economic growth, but maintaining the colonial trading economy; 5. Challenges to diversifying exports: accessing global markets and learning to learn; 6. Challenges to modernizing agro-processing: struggles over inputs, organizing smallholders, and enforcing contracts; 7. NPP government and the not so 'Golden Age of Business'; 8. NDC II Government and managing the new oil wealth.
'This important book, which synthesizes the large Ghana scholarship as well as using lots of original research by the author, makes a strong case for the country monograph and the generation of new knowledge about actually existing societies through serious, long-term fieldwork. At the same time, its comparative and theoretical relevance is much broader: as a companion volume to the influential The Politics of Industrial Policy in Africa, it clearly outlines the difficulties of transforming African states in a context of competitive clientelism and weak domestic capitalists. A must read for all interested in African political economy, the politics of development, and debates about economic diversification more generally.' Ricardo Soares de Oliveira, University of Oxford 'There is a growing consensus that we need to know more about who controls the economy, and how they do so, if we are to better understand contemporary Africa. This thorough and powerfully argued volume answers these questions for the case of Ghana. We need to read it, learn its lessons, and hope that it will inspire others to do the same for other African states.' Nic Cheeseman, University of Birmingham 'This book provides a convincing argument for the importance of industrial policy but it also explains the deep political constraints that confront countries with ambitious plans to industrialize. The detailed and extensive research on Ghana that underpins this book is impressive. The book advances an argument about the role of power in shaping economic outcomes that goes beyond conventional institutional analysis. It should be required reading for students and policy makers in an era when industrial policy is gaining increasing attention.' Hazel Gray, University of Edinburgh 'This book makes an exceptionally lucid and wide-ranging contribution to the literature the political economy of Ghanaian development, representing the distillation of over a decade of research by Whitfield on Ghana's puzzling lack of economic transformation. By examining the challenges to economic development in a country with a relatively positive trajectory of democratic governance, Whitfield's analysis resonates far beyond Ghana, raising crucial questions about how democracy and economic development might be achieved in tandem ... This book is essential reading for all those concerned with understanding why structural transformation has proved such an intractable challenge in Ghana, and what this implies for the prospects for development in postcolonial African states more broadly.' Tom Goodfellow, University of Sheffield
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