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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Towards a functional African State: bridging the gap between the State and the people
Author:Olaitan, Wale AreISNI
Year:2006
Periodical:African Journal of International Affairs (ISSN 0850-7902)
Volume:9
Issue:1-2
Pages:61-74
Language:English
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:State
State-society relationship
politics
Africa--Politics and government
World politics
Economic development--Political aspects
Abstract:This paper analyses the contribution of the African State to the problems of development in Africa. The author argues that the nature of the modern African State, inherited from the colonial State, is inherently oppressive and dysfunctional and that a fundamental change in the nature of the State is required in order to reposition the continent developmentally and liberate the energies of the African people. The existing nature of the African State disposes it toward a negative relationship with the people, leading to a gap in the relationship between the people and the State. This gap has to be bridged in order for the State to contribute positively to the developmental process in the interests of the people. The author argues in particular that relying on structural adjustment, electoral democracy and other forms of reform to bridge this gap is misplaced because these reforms do not seek to change the nature of the African State. The people cannot liberate themselves from State oppression or make the State accountable through elections conducted and presided over by the existing negative structures of the State. Only a fundamental change in the nature of the Sate can accomplish this. Bibliogr., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]
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