18 April 2017
It is widely accepted that the creation of impartial organisations is an important condition for spurring economic growth and development on a sustained basis. Democracy requires impartial enforcement of rules that promote liberty, equality, property rights and open competition for public office. Both procedural and substantive definitions of democracy therefore include a system of rule of law enabled by impartial bureaucratic organisations.
Public sector reforms to remove patron-client organisations from Africa’s expanded public bureaucracies have been strongly supported by international development agencies. However, there is some emerging consensus that it takes a long time to establish impartial bureaucratic organisations. A longstanding question of scholarly interest is whether competitive democracies in developing countries can sustain public sector reforms aimed at establishing the impartial organisations required for stimulating economic growth and development. Continue Reading →
The Ugandan state presents an interesting puzzle for advocates of public sector reforms (PSRs). Though it has been subjected to several waves of reforms over the last three decades, these have generally not translated into progressive changes in how the central government functions.
In our latest Working Paper, Dr Badru Bukenya and Professor William Muhumuza argue that the root of this conundrum lies in the country’s political settlement. Drawing on ESID’s expanded political settlement framework, their research finds that over the last 15 years Uganda’s ruling elite has been exposed to unprecedented internal and external competition, leading to a shift in the balance of power from a dominant to vulnerable dominant political settlement.
By Brian Levy
29 March 2017
ESID will soon be publishing a synthesis of new research on the politics of the extractive industry in Africa and Latin America. Here, our researcher, Brian Levy, writes about the recent ‘unconscionable’ US vote to repeal transparency for oil and mining companies, signed by Donald Trump.
In a world where anger increasingly rules, I prefer to avoid outrage – but the vote to repeal transparency for oil and mining companies is unconscionable. How – Republican members of the House and Senate who voted on party lines for this repeal, Rex Tillerson (whose 2010 efforts to lobby against the measure have, now that he has become Secretary of State, seen fruition with this repeal) and, of course DT (who gleefully signed into law this licence to collude with criminality) – do you sleep at night? Continue Reading →
20 March 2017
This Wednesday sees the India launch of a seminal book; The Political Economy of India’s Growth Episodes by Professor Kunal Sen, Research Director or ESID and Professor Sabyasachi Kar, ESID Researcher and Associate Professor at Delhi’s Institute of Economic Growth. Launched by the President of The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Naushad Forbes, this important book is described as ‘fresh and insightful’ by Harvard’s Lant Pritchett. It uncovers the types of deals between elites and economic actors that cause growth acceleration and what can be done to avoid growth decline.
In addition to the book launch, the event will feature the findings from the past five years of research on the conditions that result in economic growth in India. Prestigious speakers in attendance include journalists, Siddarth Varadarajan and M.K. Venu, and author and political commentator, Paranjoy Guha Thakurta.
Concluding with debate amongst thought leaders on the way forward for India’s development, this event has the potential to make a real difference to the thinking and policy making that shapes the future of India.
Watch Kunal Sen on the book and what he’s anticipating from the event:
For more on this research read the working paper on the political economy of growth episodes.
“My wish for women in Uganda is to push on and understand that some of the backlash in family, community, workplace and public politics is a sign of patriarchal norms under relative stress. Push on, validate and celebrate womanhood and femininity as opposed to feeling sorry. The young generation has the duty to push the gains made to the next transformatory level.”