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State building in the African countryside: structure and politics at the grassroots

Boone, Catherine (1998) State building in the African countryside: structure and politics at the grassroots. Journal of Development Studies, 34 (4). pp. 1-31. ISSN 0022-0388

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Identification Number: 10.1080/00220389808422527


This is a comparative analysis of institutions linking state and countryside in three West African regions: Senegal's groundnut basin, southern Cote d'Ivoire, and southern Ghana. It argues that conflicts within rural society, and between rural elites and governments, have been more important in shaping these linkages than much of state‐centric political science has allowed. Different patterns of economic and social organisation have produced regionally‐specific political dynamics that have, in turn, shaped institution‐building and state formation. The analysis shows African states to be more deeply embedded in localised power relations than many previous studies have suggested. It may shed light on sources of unevenness and variation in attempts to decentralise and democratise state structures in the 1980s and 1990s.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2007 Taylor and Francis
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2013 12:49
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2021 14:33

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