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The spread of economic doctrines and policymaking in postcolonial Africa

Mkandawire, Thandika (2014) The spread of economic doctrines and policymaking in postcolonial Africa. African Studies Review, 57 (01). pp. 171-198. ISSN 0002-0206

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Identification Number: 10.1017/asr.2014.12


This article looks at the relationship between economic ideas and policymaking in Africa over the last half century. It discusses the ways in which the focus of economists working on Africa has moved from the structuralist-developmentalist and neo-Marxist perspectives of the 1960s and 1970s, through a neoliberal phase of the 1980s and 1990s, to a more eclectic combination of neo-institutionalism, growth orientation, and welfarist interests in poverty and redistribution issues. These shifts in development thinking, while not unique to Africa, have not been the subject of much debate in Africa. The article argues that such a debate is long overdue, including an interrogation not only of the leverage of foreign interests, but also of the profession of economics itself and the implications of its material underpinnings and social construction on the integrity and credibility of its research.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 Cambridge University Press
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2014 15:49
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 02:10

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