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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Governance, Institutional Reform and the State: International Financial Institutions and Political Transition in Africa
Author:Campbell, Bonnie
Periodical:Review of African Political Economy
Geographic terms:Ivory Coast - Côte d'Ivoire
Subjects:political change
World Bank
economic policy
international relations
Politics and Government
Economics and Trade
Development and Technology
Abstract:This paper argues that certain aspects of the institutional reforms which seek to achieve good governance, by treating political institutions and processes as manageable and technical issues, seem instead to have contributed to the narrowing of political space and to the informalization of politics. The improvised nature of the policy process is evident in the changing perspectives contained in the World Bank's 1992, 1997 and 1999/2000 publications. The recent experience with political transition in Côte d'Ivoire serves as an illustration. The paper analyses the compatibility between the institutional reforms introduced at the recommendation of the Bretton Woods institutions and the economic austerity which has resulted from recent decisions on the one hand, and on the other, the conditions necessary for the broadening of political space, crucial to the success of the transition itself. The paper concludes by raising the possibility that the transition may well result not only in the mere prolonging of past modes of political and economic regulation, but also in a gradual shifting away from a liberal pluralist model based on a participatory and inclusive ideal of politics, to an authoritarian one based on a technocratic ideal, likely to give rise to strategies of division and exclusion. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum.