Governance in Sub-Saharan Africa: Unity or Fragmentation
Few African governments actually govern the territorial state. This generalized condition endures because of a combination of pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial disincentives to project political authority to the periphery of the state. In many countries this condition has worsened since the end of the Cold War competition in 1991 and the post-2001 emergence of radical Islamist groups. This conference will review the constraints on the consolidation of state power and their effects on economic development, even in cases of resource wealth, drawing on the political science literature and recent work by economists trying to account for the variation among countries that range from failure to relative success. The presentation will conclude with some observations on the likely effects of the current world recession on future growth and consolidation of territorial states in Africa.