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Institutional monocroping and monotasking in Africa

Mkandawire, Thandika (2011) Institutional monocroping and monotasking in Africa. In: Stiglitz, Joseph, (ed.) Good Growth and Governance in Africa. Initiative for policy dialogue. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, pp. 80-113. ISBN 9780199698561

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In this paper I shall argue that while the upsurge of interest in institutions is welcome and long over due, the new focus is marred by the tethering of institutions to a “one-size-fitall” policy perspective which leads to what Peter Evans refers to as “institutional monocropping” which involves an “imposition of blueprints based on idealised versions of Anglo-American institutions whose applicability is presumed to transcend national cultures and circumstances” (Evans 2004). It also suffers from the insistence on institutional “monotasking” whereby institutions are reduced to servicing a standard set of often imposed policies or tasks and from the endless institutional experimentation that renders institutions highly unstable and unpredictable. Its attachment to “rational choice institutionalism” has tended to focus on the restraining role of institutions and ignored the developmental and transformative role that historical and sociological forms of institutionalism have highlighted1. And finally, by a proliferation of tasks to be performed by highly restrained institutions, it undermines the coherency of national bureaucracies.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2011 08:47
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2023 14:22

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