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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Challenging the Orthodoxy: African Development in the Age of Openness
Authors:Moudud, JameeISNI
Botchway, Karl
Periodical:African and Asian Studies
Geographic terms:Subsaharan Africa
trade policy
structural adjustment
economic development
Development and Technology
Economics and Trade
External link:https://doi.org/10.1163/156921007X236981
Abstract:Does trade openness necessarily lead to income convergence between countries in the North and South and hence facilitate social development? This paper challenges this claim with regards to African development in the age of neoliberalism. The paper argues that a one-sided reading of the history of an early phase of globalization by advocates of neoliberalism seems to have turned trade openness into a mantra for African development. Furthermore the paper challenges the rhetoric of competitiveness that underpins the rationale for neoliberalism by critiquing the neoclassical model of competition. The neoliberal policy position, as the paper suggests, is problematic at an empirical level also. In a test for convergence for eleven sub-Saharan African countries described as good adjusters by advocates of trade openness, the paper shows that a straightforward openness per se guarantees nothing as far as their growth rates are concerned. Rather, the role of the 'developmental State' needs to be brought back in order to facilitate the international competitiveness of African countries. Such a role for the developmental State rests on a very different conceptualization of the nature of capitalist competition and growth. In the final instance, then, the authors suggest the need for building a theory of the developmental State that rests on non-neoclassical macro- and micro-foundations. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]