Effective States and Inclusive Development

Abstracts for Conference 2019

All abstracts are below – click on paper titles to expand. Rooms are given after panel titles, e.g. ‘D7’.

Monday 9th September

 

11:00 – 12:30: Opening session: New Insights into the Politics of Development

 

Panel 1: Domestic and Foreign Aid Bureaucracies D7

  • The contradictions of the authoritarian developmental state: Policy-making and the energy boom in Rwanda – Barnaby Dye (University of Manchester)

    This paper analyses a remarkable, but flawed, five-fold boom in installed energy generation in Rwanda, to make an empirically grounded contribution to the debate on the politics enabling and undermining development. Whilst literature on developmental authoritarian regimes has generally focused on state”society relations or bureaucratic capacity and cohesiveness as the key condition for development, this article demonstrates the importance of the deployment of authority within the state in shaping decision-making. Using the case of rapid expansion of electricity generation in Rwanda, the paper evidences the way in which centralised, cohesive power can produce rapid change: the ability to create a singular focus, mobilise resources and state capacity, and to resist societal and patronage pressures, produced a rapid boom in installed megawatts. However, this singular focus prevented any questioning and critical thinking about electricity needs, the system’s cost or debt risks.
    As a result, Rwanda is locked into a high-cost electricity system that will undermine the government’s budget and will entail high tariffs, harming industrial growth and international competitiveness. Therefore, we argue that the concentration of power in a few hands, combined with limited feedback loops and insufficient critical thinking, can create rapid change but entail outcomes that undermine development in the long term. This paper is the product of primary research conducted in Rwanda from 2013 to 2018, including qualitative interviews with a range of elite government officials and consultants and original compiled quantitative datasets.
  • Party patronage and merit-based bureaucratic reform in Pakistan – Sameen Ali (Lahore University of Management Sciences)

    Explanations for the unsustainability of civil service reform vary considerably ” from a lack of political commitment to donor interference (Crook 2010, Scott 2011, Repucci 2014, Schuster 2016). In this paper, I investigate claims regarding political commitment by asking how ruling parties accommodate their parliamentary members’ demand for access to state patronage via government sector jobs with a push for merit-based civil service reform. Drawing on qualitative fieldwork in Punjab, Pakistan, I argue that political commitment to reform is contingent on electoral calculations within ruling political parties, and though it is not always lacking at the planning stages, it falters in the equitable implementation of these reforms. Ruling parties introducing merit-based civil service reforms challenge some (but not all) demands for patronage-based civil service appointments ” i.e. the electoral interests of some of their own politicians ” but only for a particular period, in order to push through anti-patronage policies. In making this argument, I show that distortions in the implementation of reform packages reveal not only the dynamics within the ruling party itself, but also the significance of ties between politicians and bureaucrats with respect to a party’s bid to ensure that it stays in power. In broader terms, I contextualise political commitment to bureaucratic reforms to provide an explanation for such reforms’ unsustainability and for persistently low state capacity in countries with weak, patronage-reliant parties.
  • Enforcement or evasion? Institutions and the political economy of regulation in the Greater Dhaka Watershed – Rebecca Peters (University of Oxford)

    The growth-oriented government of Bangladesh is focused on achieving middle income country (MIC) status. However, the high and sustained economic growth rates, increase in per capita income, and progress in some social development indicators, marking Bangladesh as a developmental state, is often regarded as a ‘development surprise’ (Hassan and Raihan 2018). The conventional narrative, emphasising the proximate determinants of growth, such as industrial policy, treats Bangladesh as a paradox because growth takes place despite apparently weak governance. The ‘development surprise’ narrative is underpinned by an assumption that ‘good governance’ or ‘market enhancing’ institutions are preconditions for growth. Yet, a significant analytical gap in this debate remains regarding relationships between economic growth and regulatory institutions. This prevents a deeper understanding as to why environmental regulations of industrial pollution emerge and are sustained or disregarded over time, resulting in poorly understood interactions between regulation and political economy responses to growth trends. Building from Hassan and Raihan’s (2018) alternative explanation for the growth phenomenon in Bangladesh, this paper examines specific forms of growth-oriented governance in the form of selectively enforced regulation of environmental pollution from industries, particularly garments and tanneries. This work qualitatively develops quantitative findings by Haque (2018, 2017) through the framework of political deals. More specifically, this paper characterises the limits of status quo regulations, reactionary standards-setting bureaucratic culture, and policy inconsistencies that benefit the entities being regulated at the expense of promoting compliance.
  • Leveraging aid transparency for political gain: Project evaluations as donor bargaining chips in international cooperation negotiations – Jennifer Roglà (University of Southern California)

    The many reasons for foreign aid donors to avoid evaluating development aid projects have been well established. But, over the past two decades, competing pressures on donor organisations to expand aid transparency initiatives have grown stronger. I argue that aid transparency has become a tool of soft power: a way for traditional donors to set themselves apart in an increasingly crowded field of development funders and signal their commitment to recipients to secure cooperation. Thus, regardless of outcomes, we should see more published evaluations for development projects that allow the donor to leverage maximum political gain. To test this theory, I propose several hypotheses concerning the recipient country income level, political alignment, sector, and implementor as potential predictors of which projects have published evaluations. I examine the pilot case of USAID projects (1997-2010), and find support by estimating several logit regression models. Projects with published evaluations skew in ways that reflect their use as a bargaining tool by traditional donors to secure international cooperation and soft power influence. The results of this project have important implications for both theoretical issues concerning the political economy of aid effectiveness, and for the evidence-based policymaking trends currently sweeping the aid arena.

Panel 2: Political Coalitions and Patronage Structures D1

  • Power and authoritarian party (dis)continuities: The case of Tanzania’s President Magufuli and the ‘New’ Chama Cha Mapinduzi – Michaela Collord (University of Oxford)

    A growing development economics literature stresses the importance of first understanding the distribution of power within a ruling coalition – and notably within a ruling party – to then explain the politics of industrial policy, social welfare provision, and more. This political emphasis is important, but the analysis of power and party institutions needs additional conceptual and theoretical clarification. Drawing on both a political economy literature and an historical institutionalist tradition, this paper presents a revised analysis of power and party institutions, which should help our understanding of ruling coalition dynamics and their developmental impacts.

    The new framework, first, factors in the extent to which power is centralised or dispersed within a party. This distribution of power evolves alongside patterns of private ownership in society; it is also more actively (re)structured through leaders’ strategies of ‘politicised accumulation’ and the organisation of informal patron–client factions. The analysis addresses, second, how formal party institutions both reflect and help magnify an informal distribution of power. As such, established formal party institutions can act as a check on changing power distribution; similarly, party leaders can help alter the power dynamics in the ruling party through institutional reform. The analysis here identifies which institutional structures and rules are most significant and how they evolve along with a changing distribution of power. Finally, the paper applies this theory to an exploration of the attempts by Tanzania’s President Magufuli to reorder power within the ruling CCM party, using evidence from interviews, archival research and press reviews.

  • How do local government fragmentation and political patronage affect the geographical allocation of development expenditure in Bangladesh? – Amin Ali (University of Manchester)

    This paper contributes to the distributive politics literature by investigating the determinants of public expenditure at the sub-national level in Bangladesh. It offers an empirical analysis of the decentralisation and political distributions theories at the sub-national level for a unitary developing country. Using panel data methods on government’s districtwise allocation of annual development expenditure covering the period from 2005 to 2009, the analysis focuses on the impact of local government fragmentation and tests key political distribution models, the core voter hypothesis, the swing voter hypothesis and the partisan alignment theory, for Bangladesh. Results show that local government fragmentation (total, horizontal or vertical) does not have any significant impact on government’s development expenditure allocation at the sub-national level. However, the study also finds that higher share of core vote for the ruling party in the government ensures higher expenditure growth rate in the district, i.e., supporting the core voter hypothesis. Furthermore, local elected representative’s political alignment with the ruling party and raw number of ministers from a district also ensures higher development expenditure growth rate in the district, confirming the element of political patronage in resource allocation. No evidence was found in favour of swing voter hypothesis.
  • Not about rules, but good deals that bring good investments: black economic empowerment and platinum mining in South Africa – Musawenkosi Nxele (University of Cape Town)

    Mining in South Africa accounts for over 70 percent of the world’s platinum group metals reserves, with the highest number of platinum mines in production. However, South Africa missed the boom, the sector is still underperforming, and is suffering from political/policy uncertainty, quite apart from the global pressures of demand. Given that the sector is an investment-driven industry, the key issue is credible commitment. The thesis advanced by this paper is that the basis for credible commitment is ultimately a deal. A preoccupation with getting rules right has historically led to uncertainty in rules, undermining investment and growth. South Africa is an extreme outlier in middle-income countries with emphasis on rules rather than deals. The necessary condition for investment in mining comprises deals with credible politically influential parties. Given that the sector is an important target for building a black elite class, the sector needs new investments in mining to meet robust requirements for inclusion of Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) partners. The arising question is, how can you achieve racial elite class transformation while maintaining investment growth? This paper therefore explores the hypothesis that investment is highest and most sustainable when there is a durable, transparent BEE partnership; while investment is lower when the deal is struck with an opportunistic predatory partner. The empirical strategy to unearth the dynamics of this tension consists of selected case studies of different patterns of BEE deals and their investment consequences. The paper shows that transformation in mining is about getting the deal right.
  • The alliance of technopols: The politics of transforming Uganda’s water utility into a pocket of effectiveness – Badru Bukenya (Makerere University)*

    Since the early 2000s, national water and sewerage corporation (NWSC), Uganda’s water utility, has been a good news story, within Uganda and internationally, as a public agency that turned around its moribund reputation to become one of Africa’s best. What makes the NWSC case even more compelling is its ability to sustain good performance under different managers, board of governors, and line ministers. We trace this pocket of effectiveness (PoE) from the 1980s, to identify the critical factors at play. Our findings suggest that the factors important for its emergence as PoE are quite distinct from those maintaining this status. Regarding the former, the partnership that developed between NWSC top management and officials in the ministry of finance, already described as technopols who helped their own ministry to perform exceptionally from the mid-1990s, was the most paramount. The internal organisation-specific factors, previously accorded disproportionate attention, mostly helped in sustaining the PoE. We conclude that, irrespective of explicit presidential backing, PoEs can emerge where reforming units forge alliances with entities responsible for resource allocation and direction of government policy.

Panel 3: Rights, Social Protection and State–Society Relations D2

  • The politics of social protection reforms in Malawi (2006-2014) – Hangala Siachiwena (University of Cape Town)

    Recent research on the politics of social protection in Africa shows that domestic politics matters for the expansion of programmes such as social cash transfers. Yet, the literature has not fully explored which forms of politics matter the most and why. This study contributes to these debates by exploring why reforms to expand the provision of cash transfers in Malawi were constrained during the era of Bingu wa Mutharika – president from 2004 to 2012 – but promoted by Joyce Banda – president from 2012 to 2014. The paper argues that competitive elections in Malawi provided incentives for Banda to brand herself in terms of social protection, in order to distinguish herself from her predecessor, who had successfully branded himself in terms of agricultural subsidies. Moreover, the change of government from Mutharika to Banda’s People’s Party provided a ‘policy window’ for international donors and government bureaucrats to push for reforms that the Mutharika administration had resisted. Elsewhere in the Southern African region, including Zambia, competitive elections also provided incentives for presidential candidates and parties to adopt competing positions on poverty reduction and redistribution. In both the Malawian and Zambian cases, reforms to promote the expansion of cash transfers happened when donor interests meshed with the interests of presidential candidates and parties.
  • The politics of excluding labour from Bangladesh’s social protection design – Nabila Idris (University of Cambridge)

    Over the last century, European welfare states progressively extended social protection to workers, many of which remain uncontested, even in this age of austerity. Using the case of Bangladesh, this study explores why countries in the Global South are following a markedly different trajectory.
    In the five years since the collapse of a garments factory killed over a thousand workers in its capital, Bangladesh made two efforts to institutionalise labour-friendly social protection. A major supplier of ready-made garments worldwide, the apparel industry wields enormous power inside the country. The collapse, however, brought into stark relief the desperate plight of those at the lowest rung of the global supply chain. Subsequently, the first attempt to improve workers’ social protection, via the newly-minted National Social Security Strategy, was rejected by the Cabinet. The second attempt – to develop an employment injury insurance scheme – is on the brink of total failure too.

    Based on an adapted political settlements approach, using data from over 60 elite interviews and the analysis of hundreds of internal government documents, this qualitative study unearths the complex system of power and economic relations spread across the globe that hamstrung efforts to improve Bangladeshi workers’ social protection. It reveals an incestuous overlap between state and business, the powerlessness of national governments in the face of multinational entities, and the limits that ideas place on efforts to build sustainable solutions. The study is significant because it shows how truncated social protection agendas, that exclude poor workers, can easily progress unchallenged in developing countries.

  • Rethinking the politics of implementing social protection: The case of Ghana’s LEAP, 2009-2016 – Edward Ampratwum (University of Manchester)*

    This paper examines politics underpinning implementation of Ghana‘s Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty (LEAP) programme. LEAP is a centrally driven social transfer programme, but implemented through decentralised government sub-units with variant capacities and political conditions. Evaluations have highlighted LEAP’s transformative outcomes on beneficiary households. Nonetheless, considerable unevenness exists in sub-national state performance in LEAP implementation. The puzzle the paper addresses relates to why LEAP is implemented better in some sub-national states in Ghana than in others? What role do political contexts play in this variation in unevenness? How do variations in sub-national state capacities underscore the implementation differences? This paper, based on comparative case studies in four sub-national units (districts) in Ghana, two in the far northwestern (Upper West) and two in the south central (Central) region in 2018, draws on 240 in-depth interviews with sub-national elites, bureaucrats and beneficiaries. The paper finds significant variation in community and beneficiary targeting approaches from processes outlined in LEAP documentation. While in some districts, targeting of communities and households largely departed from the LEAP documentation and resulted from intra- and inter-party-political considerations, in others, the targeting was more closely aligned with the model, as political and social elite coalitions protected targeting process from political influences. The paper also finds that payment effectiveness in different districts was shaped largely by legacies of state formation and depth of penetration of state infrastructure.
  • Moving informality from paper to praxis: A case study of street vendors and planners in Accra, Ghana – Kimberly M. Noronha (University of Pennsylvania)

    Developing countries are subject to an imposition of a lexicon of narratives that their officials may not be entirely ready for, and this impacts ground-level planning experience. One such term is ‘informality’, where funds and technical assistance from the United Nations, the World Bank and other agencies, are contingent on a positive environment for the informal economy. In this paper, I examine how a ‘positive’ narrative on street vendors (in the informal economy) in Accra, Ghana has crept into the dominant policy narratives and official documents. I ask why the ground-level experience does not necessarily match this ‘positive’ narrative. In conclusion, I find that the planning system is subject to a dual narrative imposition: top-down from aid agencies, academicians and other activists; and bottom-up from the street vendors themselves. There is a ‘social justice’ narrative framing this discourse, and I find that this has yet to be fully accepted by the planning bureaucracy, because the social justice narrative pits street vendors against the existing hegemony of planners. I argue that viewing street vendors as legitimate citizens is a better framework for planners and policymakers to consider them as stakeholders in the planning process. The Sustainable Development Goals are a powerful tool being used internationally to measure progress. Two goals (Goals 8 and 11) deal with informality. By studying how these narratives move from paper to praxis, I will demonstrate the gaps created when policy changes are imposed on a system not used to ‘thinking’ a particular way.
  • Securing land rights through citizenship-aware negotiating: The case of Mukuru Special Planning Area – Ruth Murumba (Moi University)

    This paper examines how citizens living in informal settlements negotiate for their land tenure rights. In Mukuru, Muungano wa Wanavijiji, a local non-governmental organisation (NGO), the local community has applied leverage on the county government of the City of Nairobi to negotiate for the status of Special Planning Area for their settlement. The new Kenyan constitution promulgated in 2010 created a system of devolution in Kenya with a two tier system of government. The ceding and sharing of power and resources between the two levels of government means that the new county government of Nairobi created spaces to partner with local communities for slum upgrading that is inclusive, systematic and sustainable. Using the wrok of Muungano as a case study this paper will highlight how citizens in informal settlements leverage their rights as extended by a more robust Bill of Rights on the Constitution of Kenya (2010) to negotiate for the creation of the Special Planning Area. This has led to the cessation of all development in the settlement and ensure that tenure rights of the citizens are secured and accounted for. This is an important development for sustainable urban development and highlighting the spaces opened up by awareness of their rights by citizens.

15:30 – 17:00: Parallel Session 1

Rethinking the Politics of Development I C2

  • Political settlements and pathways to development: From theory to practice – Nicolai Schulz (ESID and LSE) and Tim Kelsall (ESID and ODI)*

    In recent years, political settlements analysis has become an increasingly influential approach in development and conflict studies, promising to explain divergent country experiences where other approaches have failed. However, it has yet to consolidate a unified understanding of its core concept or overcome doubts regarding the empirical validity of the hypotheses it generates. Doing both has been the core motivation behind ESID’s ‘Defining and Measuring Political Settlements’ project. Building on previous work, the project proposes a new definition and theoretical framework to guide future political settlement analysis. On this basis, it has designed and implemented a large-scale expert survey employing 120 country experts, systematically coding political settlements and their evolution across the modern history of 40 developing countries. This paper provides an overview of the project’s theoretical and methodological developments and presents first findings from the survey, comparing its results with rival approaches in the field.
  • ‘Political settlements’ revisited – James Putzel (LSE)

    Examining the ‘political settlement’ on which a state rests directs attention beyond its formal rules to the configuration of social power over which it presides. A political settlement emerges through processes of conflict and bargaining among those who hold different types of power in society. We think of it as ‘political’ because it concerns the power, organisation and actions of the state and the organisations society forms specifically to compete for control of the state. We conceptualise it as a ‘settlement’ because it encompasses the configurations of power in society and the state, which powerful social actors have ‘settled for’, either through processes of persuasion or coercion. When significant numbers of powerful societal actors are excluded, exclude themselves, or do not benefit from the settlement, it will tend to be unstable. The challenge in looking at a state through this prism centres on how to conceptualise and observe configurations of power in society and between society and the organisations of the state. Here we turn to the monumental work of Michael Mann, who has built on a wide body of thinking about the state in his analysis of the ‘social origins of power’. The paper briefly illustrates what this prism of analysis adds to understanding three central challenges concerning the state in developing countries: why some states are vulnerable to large-scale violence; why some states are able to preside over transformative economic and human development; and why external military interventions set on transforming a state lead to perverse outcomes.
  • Political settlements and state performance in the developing world – Matthias vom Hau (IBEI) and Sam Hickey (University of Manchester)*

    This paper engages with, yet also moves beyond, the current scholarship on state capacity and proposes a new way of understanding the links between state capacity and political settlements. We review the progress that has been made on establishing the likely causes of different state capacity endowments, particularly in terms of work on the legacies of colonial and precolonial institutions. These arguments provide compelling insights into enduring differences in state capacity (understood as the quality of its bureaucracy), but are less well-equipped to explain when state capacity endowments are actually deployed and for what ends. The focus on the historical causes of state capacity alone is also not sufficient to account for when states rather suddenly start to perform above or below their capacity endowments. We argue that the recent literature on political settlements, inter-elite bargaining and coalitions can help explain variations in state performance (Centeno et al 2017). We illustrate this with material drawn from recent ESID research in Ghana, Uganda and Rwanda, in particular. This contribution helps to clarify the relationship between two major and often contested bodies of literature, and offers a more plausible theoretical basis for understanding the politics of state performance; this is critical, given the extent to which state performance directly shapes development outcomes.

Coping with Conflict and Violence D1

  • Contesting accountability – Anuradha Joshi and Colin Anderson (IDS)

    In this paper we argue the need for a new conceptualization of accountability and how it might be achieved in contexts of fragility, violence, and conflict. The proposition is driven by several interconnecting concerns. First, we need to better understand the varieties of legitimacy of authorities in these settings; some scholars have argued that ‘empirical legitimacy’ – the social acceptance by the population of the state’s right to rule – is critical for understanding governance effectiveness. Second, we argue that these are contexts of contestation in four domains: political power-sharing, resource control, changing social norms, and identity-based exclusions. Third, the overwhelming focus on national level accountability institutions might miss far more relevant and messier processes that occur at sub-national levels. Drawing upon the literature and empirical cases from the A4EA research we lay out the notion of ‘pathways to accountability bargains’ as processes, often at the local level, in which engagement of social actors with public authority in the four domains outlined above shape the potential for steps towards accountability to emerge and stick.
  • Violence matters: Inequality, development and peace – Behrooz Morvaridi (University of Bradford) and Caroline Hughes (University of Notre Dame)

    This paper investigates the role of violence in constituting inequality, the implication of both the state and the market in this relationship, and the difficulties this poses for development agencies seeking to work politically around the issue. The claim that high levels of inequality cause higher levels of violence is a familiar topic of inquiry; however, the extent to which inequality results from violent acts that are integral to the process of development is rarely explored. Evidence regarding social exclusion, gender-based violence and environmental destruction suggests a major role for violence in creating inequality. This frequently operates through state- and donor-driven development programmes themselves, in the form of enclosure of land, expropriation of natural resources and exploitation of labour. Threats of violence constitute a spectral omnipresence in progressive practices – the alter ego of participatory planning, labour export and assisted relocation. Yet, violence is erased from development policy discussions; euphemised through buzzwords such as ‘social impacts’, ‘resilience’ and ‘vulnerability’, ‘planetary health’, even ‘human security’; and reconstrued as a compensatable exception, rather than a central driver of change. This obscures a view of development as a contested process, through which resources are redistributed between actors with unequal power, and arbitrarily delimits development work from peace work. Tackling inequality requires explicit recognition of the conflict inherent and power relations in development and the violence it routinely requires. The paper investigates the implications of this for development agencies attempting to ‘work politically’ around issues of inequality in the interests of the poor.
  • Adaptive management in large governance programmes in fragile, conflict and violence-affected settings: From theory to practice – Duncan Green (LSE & Oxfam) and Irene Guijt (Oxfam)

    In recent years, a ‘Second Orthodoxy’ (Teskey, 2017) has been identified in aid sector approaches to institutional reform. Common threads link a number of overlapping intellectual and practitioner initiatives (Thinking and Working Politically, Doing Development Differently, Adaptive Management). Over the last two years, the author has been part of a team of researchers in the Action for Empowerment and Accountability research consortium, studying a number of flagship Adaptive Management (AM) programmes in Myanmar (Christie and Green, 2018), Nigeria (Punton and Burge, 2018) and Tanzania (Green and Guijt, forthcoming).

    This paper will synthesise the findings from these comparative studies, as well as reprising the empirical and theoretical arguments for the aid sector’s increased interest in AM approaches, and the intellectual origins of AM in systems thinking and ecology. It will explore how AM works in practice, disaggregating the term into the policies and behaviours of donors, contractors and frontline staff and the often difficult and volatile relationship between them. It will discuss some of the emerging tensions identified by the research, such as working with v. against the grain: for example, AM approaches that work with the grain risk accepting and perpetuating gender bias within existing power dynamics and face complexities in working with states whose legitimacy is contested. The apparently paradoxical domination of AM thinking and practice by northern theorists and practitioners will also be discussed.

  • Paths between peace and public service: A comparative analysis of public sector reform trajectories in post-conflict countries – Jurgen Blum, Marcos Ferreiro-Rodriguez and Vivek Srivastava (World Bank)

    Building a capable public service is fundamental to post-conflict state building. Yet in post-conflict settings, short-term pressures often conflict with this longer-term objective. To ensure peace and stabilise fragile coalitions, the imperative for political elites to hand out public jobs and better pay to constituents dominates merit. Donor-financed projects that rely on technical assistants and parallel structures, rather than on government systems, are often the primary vehicle for meeting pressing service delivery needs. What, then, is a workable approach to rebuilding public services post-conflict? Paths between Peace and Public Service seeks to answer this question by comparing public service reform trajectories in five countries – Afghanistan, Liberia, Sierra Leone, South Sudan and Timor-Leste – in the aftermath of conflict. The study seeks to explain these countries’ different trajectories through process tracing and structured, focused methods of comparative analysis. To reconstruct reform trajectories, the report draws on more than 200 interviews conducted with government officials and other stakeholders, as well as administrative data. The study analyses how reform trajectories are influenced by elite bargains and highlights their path dependency, shaped by pre-conflict legacies and the specifics of the conflict period. As the first systematic study on post-conflict public service reforms, it identifies lessons for the future engagement of development partners in building public services.

Work and Informality: New Social Contracts? D2

  • Inclusion on the edge: Digital labour and the social contract in Nigeria – Kate Meagher (LSE)

    In the face of rising unemployment, expanding informality and jobless growth, a new politics of development is emerging around a social rather than a political settlement. With a view to addressing the political as well as the social welfare risks of jobless growth, calls to rebuild the social contract between civil society and the state are emerging across the development community. While some emphasise the need to move beyond a productivist logic of development towards a new politics of distribution via universal forms of social protection (Ferguson 2015, Li 2014), others emphasise the role of new forms of job creation in the digital economy as a basis for building a new social contract (World Bank 2018). In this paper, I will focus on the convergence of social protection and digital job creation logics in the rise of the gig economy. Drawing on recent fieldwork on digital taxis in Nigeria, I will explore how the gig economy is reshaping the ways in which the informal and unemployed masses in developing countries are being included in circuits of contemporary capitalism. The realities of digital employment, financialisation and new policy networks are transforming the role of labour in circuits of global accumulation, turning developing country labour from a workforce into an asset class. The politics of the new social contract is galvanising donors, government officials, academics, international capital and the underemployed masses in developing countries around reforms that seek to stabilise precarity and financialise inclusion.
  • Rethinking civil society and democracy: Lessons from construction workers in Beijing and Delhi – Irene Pang (Simon Fraser University)

    Construction workers in China and India endure precarious working conditions. In my ethnographic study of construction workers in Beijing and Delhi, I find that the non-payment of wages can trigger workers in both cities to engage in visible, public acts of resistance. However, I also find that workers in Beijing, when compared to their counterparts in Delhi, are much more active in mobilising within the spaces of civil society to fight for their rights. This may seem puzzling, given documentations of China’s authoritarian state controlling social activism and maintaining command over civil society, and given accounts from India of the success of subordinate groups in claim-making through using political spaces created by democratic institutions or by devising innovative forms of mobilising within civil society. Adopting a multidimensional theoretical framework that understands civil society in two dimensions – organisational strength and autonomy – and democracy in relation to two sources of state power – despotic power and infrastructural power – this paper ethnographically traces how construction workers in Beijing and Delhi have been more, or less, able to utilise civil society resources to fight against the non-payment of wages, and uses the comparison to qualify existing theories about the relationship between civil society and democracy. I argue that it is important to consider how high infrastructural power not only radiates outward from the state as a form of control over civil society, but also empowers citizens to mobilise within civil society, even in non-democratic contexts, and sometimes in unconventional ways.
  • Taxation and the informal economy in the Global South: Strengthening the social contract or sowing divisions? – Michael Rogan (Rhodes University)

    Among both international financial institutions and developing country governments, there is currently a burgeoning interest in including informal sector workers within national and local tax nets. The motivations for taxing the informal economy are largely related to the need for greater ‘revenue mobilisation’, but there is also a claim that taxation can improve or restore the social contract through greater government accountability and civic engagement. Supported by emerging perspectives within the ‘new fiscal sociology’, there is a growing consensus that taxation is the social contract and shapes the key defining relationship between the state and society.

    Others, however, have warned that these perspectives have a number of ‘blind spots’ in relation to developing countries, more broadly, and the informal economy, in particular. With 70 percent of the workforce in emerging and developing countries in informal employment, these blind spots have a particular relevance for the social contract, political participation, governance and accountability in the countries of the Global South. Based on a case study of informal street vendors and market workers in Accra, Ghana, this paper reflects on the limits to, and the circumstances under which, governance gains could be achieved in relation to informal sector taxation and the social contract. The analysis investigates where some of the perspectives of the new fiscal sociology sit in tension with the realities experienced by informal workers in the Global South. Avenues for a future research agenda and an approach to understanding ‘tax justice’ from below and the politics of taxation are considered.

  • The winners and winners of globalisation, but who is winning more? A case study of the construction industry in Ghana – Serena Masino (University of Westminster) and Mavis Akuffobea (CSIR – STEPRI)

    The debate on growth and globalisation has often focused on the identification of winners and losers, both in high- and low-income countries alike. Some question the applicability of such categories, in light of the complexity of in-country evidence. Instead, others believe win-win scenarios are possible, if led by market-oriented strategies to engage with the world’s poor and the informal sector. In this study, we rely on case-study evidence from the infrastructure and construction sectors of Ghana, to argue that ‘wins’ and ‘losses’ are two sides of the same coin. More specifically, we find that foreign investment inflows in infrastructure and construction multiply available employment opportunities and therefore workers’ inclusion in production networks. However, terms and conditions of this inclusion differ widely, with workers’ contractual status being a key discriminant factor. We rely on mixed-methods analysis and a unique primary dataset collected between 2015 and 2019 among 32 companies and 319 individual respondents to explore the production, employment and regulatory dynamics associated with the operations of foreign and local contractors in Ghana. Our preliminary findings uncover a marked tendency for the sector to foster the casualisation of the semi-skilled and unskilled workforce; with informal labourers undergoing sustained socio-economic marginalisation. We discuss a number of policy implications related to countering such tendency, with a view to enabling more pro-poor growth, both in the country, and more broadly in the sub-Saharan African region.

Thinking and Working Politically I D7

  • Thinking and working politically – learning from practice – Neil McCulloch and Laure-Helene Piron (The Policy Practice)

    Over the last 15 years, a set of ideas now known as ‘thinking and working politically’ (TWP) have coalesced into a ‘second orthodoxy’ about how to take context into account when implementing development interventions. This approach stresses the importance of obtaining a better understanding of the local context (‘thinking politically’), in order to support local actors to bring about sustainable developmental change (‘working politically’). However, the evidence base to justify this new approach remains thin, despite a growing number of programmes which purport to be implementing it. Officials in development agencies struggle with putting it into practice and it is unclear how TWP differs or not from similar approaches, such as Problem Driven Iterative Adaptation and Doing Development Differently.
    This paper sheds light on what TWP means in practice, by examining a set of initiatives undertaken by both development partners and government departments in Nigeria, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, China and India. We draw out five lessons for funders and practitioners: the importance of undertaking political economy analysis to adapt programmes to their contexts; the need for a realistic level of ambition for interventions; the importance of ‘driver ownership’ and generating trust between the local actors driving change; the need for a more effective set of tools for measuring results in complex governance programmes; and accounting for the political economy of donors as well as that of the local context. We conclude with a set of operational recommendations for donors and implementors and suggestions for further research.
  • From ownership to responsiveness: Opening up the policy space in developing countries – Maia King (University of Oxford)

    Most researchers now agree that politics matters for development. But what this means in practice is still emerging, and the ‘second orthodoxy’ of politically-smart, locally-led and adaptive aid (Teskey 2017) can be demanding in the current constrained fiscal and political environment. This paper shows how the concept of ‘responsiveness’, which compares a country’s policies to the preferences of its citizens, could help.

    First, responsiveness highlights a problem in the use of a familiar term: ‘ownership’. A malleable concept, ownership can imply government or citizen control of policy choices – but it also allows donors to pre-empt those choices, leading to ‘choiceless democracies’ (Mkandawire 1999). Viewed through the lens of responsiveness, it is an open question whether donor policy choices are a better fit with citizens’ views than a government-led counterfactual. The paper uses empirical approaches from the responsiveness literature to investigate this question. And, within the broad umbrella of the second orthodoxy, it emphasises the importance of locally-led approaches to tackle this issue.

    Second, a model of responsive institutions, based on Powell (2004), shows how donor-driven policy choices can hinder their emergence. The Paris system (OECD 2005), both in approach and in implementation, did not protect institutions from these effects. And second orthodoxy practitioners sometimes find their work hindered by donors using traditional methods. Moving beyond Paris, the paper suggests ways to remedy these issues by creating ‘policy space’ and an ‘enabling environment’: making it easier for governments to be responsive, while managing the risks that they may not be.

  • The dark sides of working politically on legal and institutional reform, or the developmental politics of legal indeterminacy – Deval Desai (Albert Hirschman Center on Democracy, Graduate Institute)

    Neo-pragmatic attempts to design institutions that can adapt to complex political contexts are at the vanguard of efforts to build inclusive legal and institutional regimes in parts of the Global South. These reforms are more than a reiteration of institutional experimentalism (e.g. Sabel): here, institutions are not just the means of problem-solving, but also the problem to be solved. As a result, they are radically open-ended, with no fixed process nor end-point. How can we understand them, when our existing tools to analyse policy reforms writ large are founded on a general notion that policies are about knowing what to do? I reflect on my work in Sierra Leone supporting various actors in designing and implementing Community Development Agreements (CDAs). CDAs are quasi-contractual instruments that govern the company–community relationship around a mine, and that are provided for in statute. CDAs are radically open-ended: there is very little form or substance to them in law, since they are supposed to be adapted to the political context of each mine as it evolves over time.

    I argue that CDAs show the dark sides of open-ended, adaptive institutional reform. First, even as they operationalise a politically-responsive and context-sensitive set of practices, reformers’ accountability frameworks are weak, while reformers produce provisional forms of domestic regulation that leave the regulatory environment open to political capture. Second, these dark sides are hard to see using existing analytical tools. I conclude by proposing some modes of retooling, while expressing concern about their propensity to gatekeeping.

Tuesday 10th September

11:00 – 12:30: Parallel Session 2

The Politics of Governing Natural Resources I D1

  • Is a response to transnational development to become more national? The politics of Indonesian gold mining and the domestic turn – Jenny Goldstein and Tom Pepinsky (Cornell University)

    The burgeoning literature on the transnational politics of development emphasises how local development outcomes depend on market processes that transcend national boundaries. In sectors such as mining, this means that global demand for natural resources, both in quantity and of certain quality, affects the choices that small-scale producers working illegally and large mining firms operating under legal licences alike make. In this paper, we draw on qualitative fieldwork-based research to explore the limits to a transnational perspective on development through a close, grounded analysis of the mining sector – and in particular, gold – in contemporary Indonesia. We show how efforts to shape local and national markets in ostensibly development-enhancing ways – by restricting global trade in harmful pollutants such as mercury, or constraining operations of unpopular multinational corporations – are met with strategic responses by local actors, with unintended consequences. We argue that understanding the transnational politics of development requires a careful attention to the national or purely domestic politics and economics of particular sectors. Efforts to leverage transnational connections to shape pro-poor or pro-people development policy must attend to the ways in which sectors adapt to global regulatory efforts by hiving off international from national activities. These responses may not only undermine regulatory actions, but also development objectives more broadly.
  • What is the politics of corporate social responsibility? Political settlements, political ecology and risk in the mining sector – Tomas Frederiksen (University of Manchester) *

    This paper explores the politics of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the extractive sector. It draws on research on conducted in Ghana, Peru and Zambia looking at the role of international standards in mining company behaviour and CSR and political settlements. The paper seeks to use the different conceptions of politics and struggle in two contrasting bodies of literature – political ecology and political settlements – to think through the political impacts of corporate behaviours in the extractive sector. Specifically, the paper analyses the power relations, struggles and techniques at work in CSR activities as strategic responses to pressures facing mining companies. CSR takes on a range of functions and meanings across different scales of action. At the international level, CSR aims to attract capital and reduce shareholder risk; at the national level, it is used to improve the image of mining companies and curry favour with populations and regulators; at the local level, CSR profoundly reconfigures local political institutions to produce stable operating environments. Companies often recast multi-scalar pressures from investors, national governments, civil society and local communities on mining companies to improve their environmental and social impacts as a range of ‘risks’. While presented as technical, benevolent interventions by mining companies, this paper examines ‘CSR as risk management’ as deeply political. Here, CSR is a window into the political lives of firms, theorised through the conceptual lenses of political ecology and political settlements.
  • The politics of natural resource investments in Africa: Rights, exchange and holding power – Lars Buur (Roskilde), José Jaime Macuane (University of Eduardo Mondlane), Rasmus Pedersen (Danish Institute for International Studies) and Malin Nystrand (Gothenborg)

    Recent gas finds in Mozambique and Tanzania and the subsequent state-centric model of domestic gas utilisation have created opportunities for new sources of revenue and power generation, as well as reigniting the debate on economic nationalism. Although both countries have recently adopted reforms by separating the commercial and regulatory functions in the gas sector, and share the state-centric approach to natural gas production, economic nationalism in the gas sector is driven by different circumstances in the two countries. The big questions are how domestic gas utilisation differs in Mozambique and Tanzania, and what this says about economic nationalism. To highlight the differences in economic nationalism in the two countries, we contrast how the political elites in Mozambique and Tanzania exploit natural gas to create new spaces for capturing rents and generating power. In Mozambique, the gas that is retained for the domestic market, rather than being exported, has emerged as a key feature of new gas deals. We argue that in Mozambique the recently adopted regulatory frameworks have enabled the ruling elites to create new spaces for capturing rents and thus ensuring regime survival. In Tanzania, conversely, a combination of economic nationalism and previous bad experiences with independent power producers in the gas sector seems to have enabled the government to adopt a more active state-led approach towards domestic gas, with a focus on power production in order to boost energy security.
  • The political economy of diversification in resource-rich countries – Addisu Lashitew and Erik Werker (Simon Fraser University)*

    Resource-rich economies face unique political economic challenges that stem from a reliance on non-competitive economic activity and a tendency towards limited political accountability, as articulated through the ESID Deals and Development (D&D) framework. In that framework, economic diversification is an economic and political antidote to the challenge of boom-and-bust growth, yet it is acknowledged to be challenging to achieve. In this talk, we summarise a set of papers that piece together part of the diversification puzzle. We begin by assessing the relationship between resources and developmental outcomes, finding that resource abundance is positively correlated with a number of measures of development, but – consistent with the D&D framework – high levels of dependence on resources is negatively correlated. Econometric analysis suggests that resource dependence undermines development by weakening institutions. We rank resource-rich countries on their diversification performance by focusing on the growth of their non-resource sectors and compare that performance against a number of ‘competitive capabilities’, or broad areas of policy and administrative strength. As it turns out, diversification success is weakly related to overall competence, suggesting that something else must be driving non-resource growth. We conduct case studies for the three most successful diversifiers (Oman, Laos, and Indonesia) and find that a combination of external changes and specific internal policy choices, rather than broad competitive capabilities, played the key role in enabling diversification.

State–Business Relations I C2

  • A political economy account of middle income (and other) development traps – Michael Walton (Harvard University), Brian Levy (SAIS) and Ishac Diwan (Harvard University)*

    The paper will draw on comparative country analysis to argue that a contemporary class of development ‘traps’ can be explained by interactions between political resolutions of social issues and associated economic dynamics. The political-social dimension can be thought of as varieties of resolutions between political elites, economic elites and various social groups. Heuristically, the relation between political and economic elites can be thought of as various forms of ‘cronyism’ and between political elites and middle and poorer social groups as (increasingly) various forms of ‘populism’. These are mediated by the presence and norms around accountability/rule of law institutions (from elections to regulatory bodies), state and private sector capabilities, and the extent of feasible repression. For example, either a structure and norm of strong ‘rule of law’ accountability institutions, or, under some conditions, substantial repression, can moderate the intensity of cronyist and populist resolutions.
  • State–business relations, politics and development in India – Pallavi Roy (SOAS) and Michael Walton (Harvard University)*

    This paper will explore India’s recent political economy through the prism of relations between political elites, state actors and business and between political elites and their social-electoral support. It will use this prism to explore some apparent paradoxes.

    The first paradox concerns the coexistence of high levels of growth, private investment and general dynamism with widespread corruption, cronyism and populist political strategies. This will be based on syntheses of state-sector case studies: of the automobiles sector in Tamil Nadu; and of the construction sector in (pre-break up) Andhra Pradesh. These have been two of the most dynamic states in India, both in the South. This will be complemented by past and secondary work on the western state of Gujarat. This will be interpreted in terms of a largely ‘productive’ form of cronyism in these states, with credible commitments for investors generated by tight politician–business relations (often implemented by bureaucracies), and a favourable context of productive capabilities and opportunities, a product of past history and the economic conjuncture. In each case, this was complemented by populist political strategies, which sustained popular support (albeit with electoral alternation in the southern states), albeit with only modest levels of human development; this had strongly state-level nativist elements in the southern states, and Hindutva elements in Gujarat. These relative development ‘successes’ contrast with less effective cronyist resolutions in states such as Uttar Pradesh, associated with rent-extraction rather than a blend of rent-sharing and productive upgrading.

    The second paradox concerns the apparent contrast between Prime Minister Modi’s electoral platform around development, good governance and pro-business policies (with widespread business support), and actual political and policy performance. This has been typified by, for much of the term, weakening private investment, a continuation of past social policies, new brands of populism – most vividly in the demonetisation episode. This will be interpreted in terms of a combination of continuation of a form of cronyism associated with tight links to a smaller group of business tycoons, alongside anti-elite narratives and a blend of old and more strongly Hindutva-influenced populist strategies. (This will be updated after the election.)

  • The political economy of scarcity in Africa: Sugar and rice production and trade in Tanzania – Antonio Andreoni (SOAS), Deograsias Mushi (EconResearch Group) and Ole Therkildsen (Danish Institute for International Studies)

    Despite the renewed interest in industrial policies, and the surge of aspirations to become developmental states across Africa, staple commodities, including rice and sugar, remain scarce and their production largely uncompetitive. Large segments of the rural population are involved in rice and sugar production and they depend on them as cash crops. Powerful organisations and their clientelistic networks exploit scarcity for capturing rents from these commodities along the value chains. The unproductive rents capture from sugar and rice also generates an intricate web of domestic and regional conflicts among powerful organisations which unfold in complex corruption processes.

    Scarcity is a major cause of poverty, as well as a major source of power in Africa. The paper disentangles the political economy of scarcity with a focus on rice and sugar in Tanzania, and investigates the implications for the politics of industrialisation and anti-corruption in Africa. We identify seven ‘political processes of scarcity’ and, by comparing rice and sugar, show the commodity-specificity of these interdependent dynamics and how they reinforce each other. These are: i) financing of political elections; ii) Zanzibar smuggling route; iii) EAC Custom exemptions and smuggling; iv) cross-border trade incentives; v) un-competitiveness of production; vi) political management of food scarcity and trade bans; and vii) ‘rents chains’ from trading to logistics and distribution.

    If the logic of industrialisation is about generating surplus, the logic of underdevelopment is intrinsically linked to creating and reproducing scarcity. Understanding this logic of scarcity is key in identifying politically feasible industrialisation strategies for Africa.

The Politics of Women’s Empowerment D2

  • Negotiating gender equity: Elites, informal networks and resistance – Sohela Nazneen (IDS and ESID), Josephine Ahikire (Makerere University) and Maheen Sultan (BRAC Institute of Governance and Development) *

    This paper explores the complex micro-politics of negotiating gender equality policies in Uganda and Bangladesh. It draws on comparative research conducted in both countries to illustrate the importance of the informal networks – and how these are deployed, both by women’s movement actors and also their opponents. The paper asks the following questions: what role do powerful women play and do they matter? How do pro-gender equality coalitions create incentives for elites to act to promote gender equity concerns? What kinds of accommodations are made by the pro gender coalitions to secure policy gains? By exploring these issues, the paper also comments on the limits of the strategies and whether these would be effective in the face of backlash against women’s rights in these two countries.
  • Women in politics: Gaining ground for progressive outcomes in Pakistan – Ayesha Khan (Collective for Social Science Research)

    This paper contributes to the growing literature around feminist mobilisation and policy outcomes, and debate over affirmative action measures as a route to women’s substantive political participation. It unpacks the history of women’s struggle for political inclusion in Pakistan, where the state repeatedly curtailed women’s rights to win support from religious parties and/or appease extremists, to explore the links between women’s increased political voice and progressive policy outcomes. It identifies three ‘golden periods’ for policy-making (1971-77, 1993-96 and 2008-18), each characterised by strong political backing for reform on women’s issues, but with considerable variation amongst other important contextual factors, such as government type, international context/donor support, women’s activism and political representation. In the last ‘golden period’, women indirectly elected on a 17 percent quota in the assemblies navigated significant constraints to their political voice and empowerment to maximum effect, by successfully advocating for progressive laws in in ‘doctrinal’ areas, i.e. religious or cultural matters, for the first time. While women’s political empowerment is still ongoing and the implementation of legal reforms incomplete, nonetheless strong support from the women’s movement and donor community gave critical support to women politicians to redefine the boundaries of policy reform. This paper is based on research into women’s political voice in conflict-affected and fragile settings under the Action for Empowerment and Accountability Research Programme. It uses archival material, secondary literature, as well as qualitative interviews with activists, politicians and key informants as sources.
  • When do shifting social norms generate backlash? Findings from a survey of perceptions of women’s leadership in Indonesia – David Hudson, Claire Mcloughlin (Developmental Leadership Program), Anna Margret, Dirga Ardiansa, Yolanda Panjaitan and Mia Novitasari (Cakra Wikara Indonesia)

    This paper presents the results from a recent survey experiment (n= 2,003) carried out across five provinces in Indonesia (Jakarta, North Sumatra, West Java, East Java and South Sulawesi). The research examined the level of acceptance for women’s leadership across different domains, from the public sector to the political arena. The lowest level of acceptance is shown in women’s leadership in religious ceremonies and the highest in women being high school principals. An embedded experiment also finds that priming respondents with the information that other people think women’s leadership is normatively acceptable makes women more positive about women’s leadership, but creates a ‘backlash’ effect among male respondents, who become less supportive of women taking up certain leadership roles. These findings suggest both an opportunity and a dilemma for development agencies working to support women’s empowerment – individual perceptions can in theory be shifted by promoting gender equality norms in the wider public sphere, but the concern is how to do this while avoiding the risk of retrenching resistance to these same norms among certain groups.

The Politics of Social Protection D7

  • The politics of distributing social transfers in Sub-Saharan Africa: The intersection of political competition and state capacity – Tom Lavers (University of Manchester)*

    This paper advances existing debates by examining the relatively under-researched topic of how politics shapes the implementation of social transfer programmes in sub-Saharan Africa. Recent decades have seen significant expansion in the number and reach of social transfer programmes driven not only by transnational actors, but also, vitally, domestic political processes. Growing recognition that social transfers are ‘political’ nonetheless raises questions regarding what forms of politics shape implementation and how this varies across space. This paper synthesises results from a comparative study of four African countries – Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya and Rwanda – employing a common research protocol and research design. The paper highlights two main political dynamics shaping variation in implementation. First, long-run processes of state formation have led to within-country variation in state implementation capacity. With respect to social protection, key aspects of state capacity include the bureaucratic autonomy from powerful local interest groups required to protect programmatic implementation and the territorial reach required to penetrate community and social structures to draw on local knowledge of poverty to identify programme participants. Where state territorial reach is limited, neo-customary authorities frequently fill the gap, with unpredictable implications for programme implementation. Second, political competition, both between political parties and within them, is another important factor shaping implementation. Despite the potential for electoral competition to promote accountability and impartiality in delivery, more often competition leads to factionalisation and politicisation of implementation, as local elites seek to utilise programmes as a means of building their support base and retaining power.
  • The state at the margins: The impact of cash transfer programmes on citizen–state relations in rural Kenya and Tanzania – Alesha Porisky (University of Toronto)

    This paper examines the impacts of similar cash transfer programmes (CTPs) on perceptions and practices of citizenship in Kenya and Tanzania. Drawing on two years of fieldwork and over 750 interviews with local government officials, community leaders and citizens, I argue that in Tanzania, the post-colonial nation-building project constructed a cohesive national identity and a duty-based conception of citizenship that is rooted in perceptions of a singular national community and norms of reciprocity. The introduction of means-tested CTPs in Tanzania, then, did not challenge commonly-held understandings of citizenship and of the state’s role vis-à-vis the citizen. In contrast, in Kenya, the post-colonial era was marked by the distribution of state resources through patronage networks, exclusionary economic and political policies that discriminated based on ethnicity and an absence of a central unifying nation-building project. This fostered an exclusive, entitlement-based conception of citizenship, which is directly tied to the individual and their relationship to various patrons. The introduction of CTPs, which are distributed based on need rather than patronage, has led to a gradual reconceptualisation of citizenship towards one rooted in reciprocal rights and duties. I demonstrate that CTPs can have a transformative impact on citizenship and theorise the mechanisms through which this change takes place. This research contests the notion that post-colonial state formation has created path-dependent structures of state–society relations, as commonly asserted in the literature. Rather, it demonstrates that inclusive social protection policies have the potential to shape new avenues for citizens’ relations with the state.
  • Social protection in emerging market economies: Exploring the ‘politics of the poor’ – Indrajit Roy (University of York)

    Social protections have proliferated across the world. The proposed paper contributes to the emerging scholarship that emphasises the political factors for such expansions. In particular, the paper directs attention to the ‘politics of the poor’ in the emergence and adoption of social protections. By focusing on political factors, the paper challenges the ‘diffusionist’ and ‘structuralist’ paradigms that are often deployed to explain policy change in developing countries. By emphasising the politics of the poor, it interrogates the emphasis on working class politics that has informed political explanations of the adoption of social protections in industrialised capitalist democracies.

    The proposed paper synthesises findings from two collaborative projects that explore the political dynamics underpinning the adoption of social protections in four emerging market economies: China, India, Brazil and Turkey. It draws on qualitative analyses to illustrate the causal connection between poor people’s politics and the adoption of social protection programmes in the emerging market democracies. In it, we find the comparative process tracing method useful to illustrate the causal mechanisms that link the politics of the poor to the institutionalisation of social protections in China, India, Brazil and Turkey. In reflecting on the ‘politics of the poor’, we emphasise the dual ways in which poor people’s consent with, as well as contention against, their governments forced the ruling political parties to consider and enact social protections in the four countries.

14:00 – 15:30: Parallel Session 3

Thinking and Working Politically II D7

  • Organised crime, development and the potential unintended consequences of interventions: Lessons for thinking and working politically – Heather Marquette (University of Birmingham) and Miriam Light (DFID)

    A growing body of evidence on the scale and nature of the impact of serious and organised crime on development helps to map the negative impact of serious and organised crime (SOC) on development goals. With few exceptions, however, the literature rarely considers the potential positive and stabilising impacts of SOC in development contexts, nor the potential for SOC interventions to cause harm, leaving policy makers and practitioners without the nuanced understanding of the factors and relationships needed to better understand and manage potential second order effects/unintended consequences of efforts to tackle SOC.

    Drawing primarily on evidence from Ghana, but bringing in a number of African examples, this paper looks at the web of political, business and criminal interests, including both licit and illicit activities, that embed corrupt and criminal actors within both formal and informal networks, often creating much needed jobs while simultaneously feeding ongoing instability. It considers cases where a lack of clear public/private and licit/illicit splits means that effectively fighting organised crime could have important negative unintended consequences. By better understanding these complex relationships and the ways that licit and illicit markets are connected, the paper suggests ways in which ‘thinking and working politically’ may help us move away from unhelpful responses, with their negative consequences on both stability and development, in order to develop more pragmatic, politically informed ways of tackling these challenges in a way that is more likely to ‘do no harm’.

  • Donor-funded reform coalitions: The case of the Philippines – Gerard Clarke (University of Swansea)

    Reform coalitions represent a potential means for donors to support macro-political change in developing countries and to nurture ‘good governance’ and the attributes of ‘developmental states’, including ‘embedded autonomy’. This can enable them to circumvent the limitations of micro-political or public sector reform where appropriate circumstances exist. Donor support for reform coalitions, however, is difficult to engineer and fraught with political risk, including the risk of partisan taint. In this paper, I explore the efforts of Australian Aid, USAID and the World Bank to promote reform coalitions and constituencies in the Philippines between 2010 and 2016 during the Presidency of Benigno S. Aquino III and to institutionalise the reform agenda of his administration. In doing so, I argue that the Philippines in general, and in the 2010-2016 period in particular, represented an important laboratory for the testing of innovative donor strategies to support reform coalitions and constituencies in an ostensibly fertile environment. These coalitions brought together stakeholders from government, the private sector and civil society and promoted both economic and other reforms. These donor strategies ultimately failed, however, with the election of Rodrigo Duterte in May 2016, a candidate committed to discrediting and reverse-engineering many of the positive achievements of the Aquino administration and of supportive donors. I trace the reasons for Duterte’s electoral victory and identify some of the lessons for donors in supporting reform coalitions and constituencies in the Philippines and in other parts of the world.
  • Power, agency and development: Unpacking politics in Melanesia – Glenn Banks, Regina Scheyvens, Litea Meo-Sewabu, Hennah Steven and Suli Vunipolo (Massey University)

    The history of development policy in Papua New Guinea has been a contest against tradition, custom and politics. Complex customary forms of land tenure and local forms of tribal nepotism are widely seen as blockages on economic and social development. This paper seeks to reframe these intensely political contests, and suggests alternative ways in which the localism inherent in Melanesian politics can be recast through a focus on Melanesian expressions of power. It explores two key areas: the debates around land ‘mobilisation’; and the highly contested area of local government. In relation to the former, much development policy still treats land as an object to be ‘mobilised’, without recognising the ways in which land is already deeply embedded in Melanesian society as an actant, in social, cultural, economic and certainly political terms. Picking up on Murray Li’s conceptualisation of land as assemblage, these debates and the lack of viable political solutions to ‘the land question’ over the last 50 years, can be understood through the dynamics of local power contests. Power – and specifically locally-contextualised forms of nepotism – is also deeply implicated in the long-standing concerns with corruption in local government. Again, the recognition of the influence of agency and power at the heart of local politics – and the inherently personal nature of power, identity and politics in Melanesia – point towards new ways for working with, rather than against, local power in development policy and practice.

State-Business Relations II C2

  • The political economy of private sector growth in the Middle East – Adeel Malik (Univeristy of Oxford) and Ishac Diwan (Harvard University)

    The paper explores the possible contours of the future of state–business relations (SBRs) in the Middle East region, and the potential for private sector growth. Can the new environment of heightened popular demands and lower oil prices encourage the political regimes in place to improve their efforts at boosting economic growth, even at the political risk of tolerating a larger private sector? The paper outlines four types of relatively successful SBR models – cum political settlements – that have taken hold in the region. In particular, the focus is on how the intensity of social movements, and the ways different states reacted to them, influenced the formation of SBRs. The paper then discusses the extent to which some of these models can be replicated elsewhere in the region in the future. The paper is the concluding chapter in an upcoming co-edited book (with Adeel Malik and Izal Atiyas): Crony Capitalism in the Middle East (OUP, forthcoming).
  • Are women less likely to receive good deals? A cross-country firm-level analysis – Sayema Haque Bidisha (University of Dhaka)*

    Women in developing countries are less likely to be entrepreneurs than men. In contrast to the previous literature on the determinants of female entrepreneurship, which looks at the role of imperfections in factor and product markets, this paper examines whether an important constraint for women to start a business is the time it takes women owner-managers of firms to obtain a construction permit or operating licence, as compared to men. Using the insights of the deals and development framework, we suggest that ‘de facto’ deals between the state and businesses, rather than ‘de jure’ rules, characterise the relationship that firm owners and managers have with the state. Based on the latest rounds of World Enterprise Survey data, we argue that such deals are likely be gender biased – the nature of such bias can, however, be in either direction and can differ across countries/regions too. Descriptive analysis based on kernel densities reveals that for most of the countries, though there is no significant difference between male- and female-owned firms in times for obtaining operating licences and construction permits, for a number of countries, we observe systematic pattern based on the gender of owner. Our econometric estimation, however, shows that firms with female owners tend to require fewer days to obtain both operating licences and construction permits. Further analysis reflects a distinctive pattern based on regions in obtaining such deals, with women of certain regions facing more constraints than their male counterparts.
  • Filling entrepreneurs’ institutional voids, framing their legal sentiments: Political ties and firm innovation in China’s private sector – Junmin Wang (University of Memphis)

    Economic actors are widely reported to use political ties to fill the void of formal institutions in emerging economies and developing contexts. Although the existent literature offers rich knowledge of understanding the instrumental dimensions of political ties, i.e., their benefits and costs for economic actors, it pays little attention to the sentimentality of political ties. In this study, I develop a sentimental approach to studying political ties and examine how political ties trigger and foster economic actors’ emotions about the larger institutional arrangement, which in turn affect firm innovation. I argue that political ties function as a social setting, where economic actors gain direct, intimate access to learning about the government and formal institutions that political actors represent. By using two analytic dimensions – the levels of government support and intervention – I theorise four ideal-types of political actors’ ‘images’ – being ‘caring’,” ‘collaborative’,” ‘controlling’ and ‘ceremonious’ – that are materialised in different types of political ties. Analysing a nationally representative sample of Chinese private companies, I find that the government’s ‘caring’ and ‘collaborative’ images delivered by political ties tend to generate economic actors’ positive emotions towards the larger institutional system and thus positively mediate the role of their legal sentiments in promoting firm innovation, but a ‘controlling’ government image triggers entrepreneurs’ negative sentiments. A ‘ceremonious’ political image has few effects in generating economic actors’ institutional sentiments. My study adds new insight into how firms’ network strategies not only substitute for the institutional voids, but shape network actors’ values, beliefs and sentimentalities.

The Politics of Governing Natural Resources II D1

  • Economic nationalism? Domestic gas, rent capture and power generation: A comparative analysis of Mozambique and Tanzania – Thabit Jacob (Roskilde University), Padil Salimo (Roskilde University) and Jose Jaime Macuane (University of Eduardo Mondlane)*

    Recent gas finds in Mozambique and Tanzania and the subsequent state-centric model of domestic gas utilisation have created opportunities for new sources of revenue and power generation, as well as reigniting the debate on economic nationalism. Although both countries have recently adopted reforms by separating the commercial and regulatory functions in the gas sector and share the state-centric approach to natural gas production, economic nationalism in the gas sector is driven by different circumstances in the two countries. The big questions are how domestic gas utilisation differs in Mozambique and Tanzania, and what this says about economic nationalism. To highlight the differences in economic nationalism in the two countries, we contrast how the political elites in Mozambique and Tanzania exploit natural gas to create new spaces for capturing rents and generating power. In Mozambique, the gas that is retained for the domestic market, rather than being exported, has emerged as a key feature of new gas deals. We argue that in Mozambique the recently adopted regulatory frameworks have enabled the ruling elites to create new spaces for capturing rents,thus ensuring regime survival. In Tanzania, conversely, a combination of economic nationalism and previous bad experiences with independent power producers in the gas sector seems to have enabled the government to adopt a more active state-led approach towards domestic gas, with a focus on power production in order to boost energy security.
  • Moving straight to Norway: Are ‘best-practice’ reforms helping Africa’s new oil producers to govern oil effectively? – Kojo Asante (CDD), Sam Hickey (University of Manchester) and Giles Mohan (Open University)*

    International efforts to ensure that Africa’s new producers avoid the so-called ‘resource curse’ have focused heavily on encouraging countries to adopt a similar set of new institutional arrangements for governing oil and gas. This approach is heavily influenced by the ‘Norway model’, whereby countries establish different entities to take on policy, regulatory and commercial functions, despite findings from previous research that this model is only likely to be effective in contexts where there are high levels of state capacity and institutionalised forms of democratic competition. This paper tracks the efforts to adopt and implement these ‘best-practice’ reforms in five countries, each of which represent different types of political settlement, namely Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda. We find that the adoption of new reforms has played out very differently in different contexts, with the process highly contested in some contexts whereas other countries took ownership of the process and moved swiftly to implementation. In all cases, the adoption and implementation of the reforms directly reflects the nature of political settlement dynamics in each context, including in terms of inter-elite factionalism, but also the nature of paradigmatic ideas involving differences between resource nationalist and more neoliberal approaches to oil governance. Our paper problematises the promotion of best-practice reforms and argues that greater attention is required to protecting and promoting ‘pockets of effectiveness’ that can offer countries the capacity to govern new natural resources in the national interest.
  • Sustaining the unsustainable? Political institutions and development in Sub-Saharan Africa’s resource economies – Alecia Ndlovu (University of Cape Town)

    The challenge for Africa’s resource-rich countries is not simply to achieve economic growth, but to achieve patterns of development that can be sustained beyond a resource boom. Reliance on non- renewable mineral and fuel deposits is inherently unsustainable, in that deposits can only be depleted once. Resource-rich countries must find ways to transform these
non-renewable resources into patterns of development that can be sustained economically, socially, and environmentally – even after the resources are exhausted. This study investigates how political institutions affect development and its sustainability in resource-rich economies. Specifically, do countries with democratic institutions perform better or worse on average than countries that lack them? Do competitive democracies in Africa perform better or worse than dominant-party (but still multi-party) democracies? In general, how do different regime types and party systems affect performance on various dimensions of sustainable development?

Rethinking the Politics of Developmental States D2

  • Against legitimacy? The democratic deficit of developmental state theory – Jamie Doucette (University of Manchester)

    Developmental state theory has been persistently criticised for its praise of authoritarian political regimes and neglect of democratic actors, such as labour and civil society. This presentation examines the origins of this problem within the neo-Weberian foundations of developmental state theory. Using Weber’s ideal type method, state theorists equated state capacity with a cohesive, meritocratic bureaucracy, and explicitly rejected accounts of the state that prioritised questions of legitimacy. The result was a view that overstated the rationality of economic bureaucrats, by externalising them from society (and other branches of the state), and failed to consider the ideological and psychological complexity of the planning staff, much less the effects of the wider social, political and spatial context in which their industrial policies were embedded. This problem animates not only the strong versions of the developmental state, but also subsequent attempts to relax, but not abandon, claims about state autonomy through appeals to societal embeddedness. In this presentation, I revisit some of the roads not taken in earlier, neo-Weberian arguments about embeddedness, state capacity and legitimacy. I propose that a Gramscian perspective, which understands the state integrally as an organic interpenetration of political and civil society – an approach spurned by the neo-Weberians for lacking specificity – allows us to address the democratic deficit in two ways: by drawing attention to how hegemonic struggles have shaped development states; and by enrolling the diverse standpoints of those affected by them to better evaluate state policies and to identify alternative visions of democracy and development.
  • Developmental states in the 21st century: From urgency to agency – Judit Ricz (Hungarian Academy of Sciences)

    In the early 21st century, both the world economy and economics as a social science face important challenges, which call for paradigmatic changes, maybe even for new paradigms. Following the financial and economic crisis of 2008-09 and the prolonged economic recovery afterwards, new developmentalist tendencies emerged throughout the world. These governments must act, however, under new constraints posed (intensified) by new challenges, which require reconsideration of the repertoire of developmentalist policies and state interventions.

    As part of a broader research project, titled ‘From Developmental States to New Protectionism’, we focus in this paper on the new constraints and potentially enabling factors that determine the room for manoeuvre of states with development-oriented aspirations in the 21st century (and especially after 2016).

    First, we recall the experiences and explanations of the classic developmental states (DS), the model-cases of Northeast Asia and their specific global and regional context. Based on the political economy explanation of Doner et al. (2005), the so-called systemic vulnerability concept, we highlight the role of urgency in the emergence of the classic DS. In the second part, we look at changes in the global scene, to reveal the cyclicality and dynamics of changes, both in economic and political terms. Thirdly, we turn towards the domestic arena and aim to provide a political economy interpretation on the challenges of building developmentalist institutions and strategies in the 21st century.

  • Conglomerates and organisational integration of rents: Rethinking the developmental state through the lenses of business groups – Farwa Sial (SOAS and Manchester) and Antonio Andeoni (SOAS)

    Since the 1990s, the developmental state has been increasingly recognised as the key driver of late industrialisation, especially among countries such as Japan, South Korea and China. More recently, this developmental model has gained increasing traction across countries in Southern and Eastern Africa, as well as South Asia. In many of them, ruling coalitions have pasted and copied – at least ‘on the paper – the industrial policies of successful late industrialisers. Deals with business groups have been the main form of implementation of these policies. The limited successes of these experiences, however, have raised a number of questions in relation to the feasibility of the developmental state model, that is, its capacity of allocating rents to companies. Particular emphasis has been given to the political economy of embeddedness, the context-specific political settlements and the management of conflicts.

    The paper focuses on an overlooked ingredient of the developmental state model, that is, the specific ways in which business conglomerates played a developmental role by re-allocating rents among their own businesses and achieved an organisational integration of rents. Specifically, conglomerates operated as ‘intermediate organisations’ in coordinating investments and committing resources, overcoming structural bottlenecks, creating internal and external markets, exploiting complementarities and developing domestic supply chains. Against this background, we analyse a selection of ten conglomerates in two aspirational developmental states – Tanzania and Pakistan – and we show how their internal evolution took very different forms and why interests among businesses within conglomerates, and between conglomerates and the state, did not align.

  • Varieties of economic transformation in Africa: The politics of difference in ‘developmental states’ – Pritish Behuria (University of Manchester)*

    The challenge of conceptualising the determinants and vulnerabilities characterising 21st century late development has been beset with methodological and theoretical inconsistencies. The East Asian developmental states literature grew out of three country-specific studies (Johnson, 1982; Amsden, 1989; Wade, 1990). As attempts to conceptualise the ‘developmental state’ emerged, parsimony was eventually prioritised over detail. Comparative studies began to focus on the similarities between these countries. As the concept began to be loosely applied elsewhere, there has been significant theoretical slippage. Even politically, governments have used the term ‘developmental state’ to apply to their own growth trajectories, without much adherence to the initial usage of the term.

    Yet the developmental state literature grew out of insights from the work of Hirschman, Gerschenkron and others, who emphasised that very distinct trajectories of late development existed. The Varieties of Capitalism literature initially recognised this, but unfortunately has been unable to divorce itself from new instititutional economics biases and has restricted itself to two varieties. For Gerschenkron, an essential feature worth analysing was the ways in which financial sectors supported strategic investments and how they enabled different economic structures to emerge.

    This paper argues that a ‘politics of difference’ should be centred in our study of emerging African growth trajectories. It makes the point that the initial conception of the political settlements literature (Khan, 1995) reminds us of how power relations, the centrality of finance and the emergence of varied economic structures can help showcase the vulnerabilities of varied trajectories of late development.

16:00 – 17:30: Parallel Session 4

Rethinking the Politics of Development II D7

  • Elite cohesion and institutional development in weak states – Rachel Strohm (University of California, Berkeley)

    In order to effectively govern a state, leaders must be able to delegate authority. Delegation creates a principal-agent problem, as officials may use their power to undermine the leader. Weak states are often trapped in an equilibrium where leaders do not wish to delegate power, and thus institutions which could facilitate delegation do not develop. I argue that leaders of weak states may be able to temporarily solve the principal-agent problem if they are a member of a highly cohesive elite. Cohesion implies that group members have strong norms about supporting each other, which lowers the risk of delegating power within the group. However, cohesion tends to fade once a group is in power. States which are able to take advantage of this initial period of cohesion to build stronger institutions may see long-run gains in administrative capacity and economic growth, whereas states which fail to take advantage of the cohesive period do not. I illustrate this argument with case studies of post-colonial political transitions in Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • The politics of change: Addressing inequalities in the development agenda – Anna Chernova (Oxfam)

    Development is re-distribution of power between the haves and the have nots. This applies to assistance that can be classified as humanitarian, development and peace/security. Working on power (formal and informal) today is further complicated by closing civic space. Without the space for dialogue and dissent, grievance over inequalities is often a key driver for violent conflict – stunting development and generating the need for humanitarian response at scale.

    In response to these geo-political shifts, some states are looking to elite bargains and political settlements (from peace to aid and philanthropy) as the solution. These approaches are by nature exclusive, rather than inclusive – and in an elite-captured world, we have to ask whether over-investing in these development models does more harm than good to those most affected by conflict and poverty. Civil society, political and social movements are most vocal in contesting elite capture of the development agenda. In many contexts, elite-capture is male-capture. Without accountability (democratic elements such as civil liberties), governance is quickly captured by elites, inequalities are exacerbated and often violent conflict is triggered. If inequality is key to the development agenda, how can development play a more constructive role in addressing these deeply political issues?

    This paper will look at possible structural solutions to conflict through the inequality lens. It will draw on a number of case studies where elite bargains and the development agenda have interlinked – for better or worse.

  • Institutional externalities: Structural arrangements and their distributive effects – Nadia Von Jacobi (University of Pavia) and Alex Nicholls (University of Oxford)

    This paper emerges from a four-year international research project investigating how pressures for institutional change reduce inequality. It proposes new theory into how institutional arrangements (re)produce inequality by adopting a multi-level perspective that connects structures and individuals, stressing the role of power enactments within institutions and their political consequences on society. The analysis extends existing organisational theory by focusing on structural power relations and political processes that are inherent in all institutional systems. A new theoretical construct, ‘institutional externalities’, is introduced to conceptualise the distributive effects that institutional arrangements have on society. The paper makes three contributions to the politics of development: drawing upon Amartya Sen, this research builds a novel theoretical model to conceptualise effects of institutional structures in terms of the substantive freedoms that individuals have to lead the life they want. This connects development theory with institutional analysis, to understand the political consequences of institutional power arrangements. Second, institutional setups enact power arrangements in ‘template’ social structures, notably cognitive frames, social networks and governance structures, that cause and perpetuate inequalities by maintaining an asymmetric distribution of individual or group opportunities. Third, ‘institutional externalities’ manifest through an identity nexus that underpins a person’s sense of belonging to particular meanings, networks and legitimate behaviours. Within the arena of institutional politics, meaning structures – and connected identities – are (re)negotiated through different power enactments. The framework helps explain how institutional structures distribute opportunities in society – and what it takes to unblock systemic patterns of inequality reproduction.

The Political Economy of Transformation in Africa C2

  • Facing up to Africa’s development challenge: Rethinking the political economy of transformation – David Booth (ODI)

    Sub-Saharan Africa faces increasingly alarming development prospects. As pointed out by Tilman Altenburg, future global scenarios may further sharpen these already daunting challenges. Yet there is remarkably little debate about causes and potential remedies. Why?

    The paper argues that there are important gaps in recent political economy thinking around this topic. Recent case studies of stalled transformation at sector level support the belief that the central challenge in Africa today is completing the difficult transition from a trader-capitalist economic system to a producer-capitalist system. Even the best economic policy advisers skirt around this issue, in part because it tends to involve sensitive social matters. Politics research has helped less than it might, hindered by a focus on ‘the’ state and its effectiveness, rather than on types of state, with priority attention to the role of power and politics in enabling or blocking capitalist transitions.

    These propositions recall themes in the broad Marxist tradition that have been out of favour in development studies for a generation or more. The paper therefore revisits the 1980s critique of teleological and reductionist tendencies in Marxist development theory, to which the author contributed. It suggests that an unfortunate side-effect has been neglect of comparative historical evidence that has an essential part to play in constructing a credible response to the absent debate on Africa’s prospects.

  • How does the ability of the state to produce political order relate to its ability to foster economic transformation? Political settlements and economic change in Tanzania and Vietnam – Hazel Gray (University of Edinburgh)

    This paper explores the comparative political economy of economic transformation through a political settlement analysis. It makes a contribution to political settlement scholarship by disentangling new institutional economic approaches from the core of political settlements analysis and by clarifying how heterodox economic understanding of economic growth can be integrated within the political settlement framework. The paper identifies two different approaches to political settlements: one where ‘political settlement is understood ‘as process’, the other ‘as action’. It clarifies how political settlement ‘as process’ differs from other social conflict approaches to institutions. The paper explores the role of political ideology in shaping political settlements, by setting out the concept and implications of the ‘socialist political settlement’. The paper draws on case material of conflicts over rents in public finance, land and industrial policy that reveal different patterns holding power in each country and shows how this is linked to historical experiences of institution building, accumulation and political mobilisation.
  • The jobs gap: Making inclusive growth work in Africa – Kartik Akileswaran (Tony Blair Institute for Global Change)

    Africa faces a daunting challenge. If current trends continue, the continent will face a shortfall of 50 million jobs by 2040. This has serious implications for the continent and its people, the prosperity and stability of dozens of countries, and even for the global economy and security. This report explains what African governments and their international development partners need to do to avoid this.

    The Jobs Gap argues that the enabling environment approach favoured by many developing-countries and international organisations is not sufficient to foster inclusive economic growth and create the jobs needed by Africa’s growing number of young people. It shows why these efforts need to be complemented by politically smart market-based sector development, and outlines how to do this successfully (based in large part on ESID’s rents matrix and deals matrix).

    This is the first publication of the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change’s Private Sector Development and Inclusive Growth Practice. It draws on our experience of working in ten African countries over the past decade, which includes extensive support to governments to shape and implement their private sector development strategies.

  • Getting out of the learning trap: African-owned firms building capabilities to compete in global value chains – Lindsay Whitfield (Roskilde) and Cornelia Staritz (University of Vienna)

    What is the learning trap? Locally owned firms in low-income countries have low capabilities and thus are not initially competitive in manufacturing and agribusiness export sectors. They must master and adapt foreign technology and develop the organisational and managerial skills needed in order to achieve the level of productivity of established (foreign) firms that set the global market standard. However, the lower a firm’s initial capabilities, the less likely it is to invest in learning and take risks, leading to a vicious circle of firms stuck in low-value activities and unable to export through global value chains. This paper presents a theoretical framework for understanding how firms in low-income countries get out of this learning trap. The framework is based on combining the literatures on industrial policy and technological capabilities, global value chains, foreign direct investment spillors and economic sociology with existing cases studies of Asian countries’ experiences and new empirical data on the apparel and floriculture export industries in Ethiopia, Kenya and Madagascar. These cases are the most successful cases in Africa of new export sectors in manufacturing or agribusiness that include locally owned firms. Through these cases, and in comparison with what is already known from industry cases in Asian countries (especially on apparel), the paper advances our knowledge of the economics and politics of what makes industrial policy successful, focusing on the role of GVC actors and embedded foreign direct investment.

State Capacity I: War and Revenue D1

  • Fiscal capacity in times of war: Bolivia, Chile and Peru during the War of the Pacific (1879-1883) – Jose Peres-Cajías (Lund University)

    A great deal of literature has analysed the interplay between warfare and fiscal capacity in the 19th and 20th centuries. However, the role played by war in Latin America remains controversial. In this paper we propose a new analytical framework to study the effects of the War of the Pacific (1879-1883) on the fiscal systems of Bolivia, Chile and Peru. We argue that resource wars can trigger ratchet effects through changes in the states’ economic and administrative capacity to implement and enforce fiscal rules, as well as through changes in the political constraints on collecting public revenues. To map the impact of the War of the Pacific, we look at several indicators of fiscal capacity and willingness and how they affected the evolution of tax pressure and its composition before, during and after the war. Our preliminary results suggest that the war exerted a very heterogeneous impact on the fiscal systems of the three belligerent countries. In the case of Peru, it had a very negative effect, since it eroded its economic capacity. As for Chile, it greatly increased its economic capacity, but it also decreased substantially the willingness to tax beyond natural resources. Regarding Bolivia, the negative effect on the economic capacity was milder and, more importantly, it fostered a new political consensus to tax beyond the natural resources sector.
  • Wars, conquests and state capacity: Conflicting legacies of precolonial centralisation under the 19th century Merina Empire – Frank Borge Wietzke (IBEI)

    It is increasingly common to turn to the precolonial past to explain why some countries do better than others in facilitating economic and social development for their populations. Yet, this research is often deeply apolitical. For example, recent economic scholarship based on the state antiquity index of Louis Putterman et al. tends to highlight generalised socio-economic legacies of historical state presence, such as long-run differences in the quality of human capital or the capacity to provide security and other public goods. However, it downplays other more problematic aspects of pre-modern state formation, like the increased incidence of conflict and warfare during the rise and demise of historical states or the often-uneven organisation of group relations within larger precolonial empires.

    The proposed paper explores the tension between these positive and negative aspects of precolonial state building, through a detailed case study of the 19th century Merina Empire in Madagascar. Drawing on novel and unusually fine-grained historical data, I present robust econometric evidence that Merina state building led to lasting spatial and inter-group inequalities that resemble outcomes in other ethnically polarised societies in Africa. I also show that violent and extractive behaviours of the Merina state undermined local capacities to protect private property rights and secure discretionary government investment. The paper contributes to renewed attempts in the literature on African development to recognise longer-term determinants of wellbeing inequality and state failure beyond the more widely-studied colonial period. It also complements the historical work of conference keynote speakers, James Robinson and Prerna Singh.

  • What determines administrative capacity in developing countries? – Antonio Savoia (University of Manchester), Kunal Sen (UNU-WIDER) and Roberto Ricciuti (University of Verona)*

    While it is recognised that effective state institutions are pivotal for economic development, their origins and what explains their cross-country differences are not well understood. We focus on budget institutions in developing economies, as efficient public finance planning in such countries is crucial for public goods and services provision. We argue that political institutions, seen as the system of checks and balances on the executive, are a key ingredient for building such capacity. Exploiting a recent database on public financial management performance in developing economies and an Instrumental Variable strategy, we generally find that stronger constraints on the executive have a positive effect on the ability of states to design, implement and monitor their budget. Our findings are robust to different specifications, controls and estimation methods.
  • Tax base erosion: A cautionary tale of the DR Congo – Laure Gnassou (Independent Economist)

    Referring to the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) of July 2015, the Mobilisation Domestic Revenue (DRM) through taxation is a top priority to achieve the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. The DR Congo, a major resource-rich country, has faced difficulties in ensuring a sound delivery of public services. It is marred by inequality and has regularly experienced humanitarian crises. The paper investigates the root causes of tax base erosion in the fragile African state.

    First, the paper studies the critical impact of Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) on the DR Congo’s tax base. Often by obtaining tax incentives in exchange for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows to develop the extractive industries, MNEs apply tax avoidance practices and proceed to transfer pricing to reduce tax payments. This tax leakage has fomented the erosion of the country’s limited tax base.

    Second, the paper highlights that in March 2018, the country kicked off a controversial attempt to reform its mining legislation during a severe political crisis. The rise in taxation of minerals aimed to protect the country’s tax base.

    Third, the paper stresses that international cooperation in the area of tax matters is critical for restoring the tax base and improving domestic tax capacity. The transfer of political power in January 2019 offers a new opportunity for reconnecting with donors on tax matters. This could contribute to ameliorating the efficiency of its tax administration and modernising its tax system.

The Politics of Service Delivery D2

  • Two-headed monsters? The politics of public–private relations in water and sanitation provision in Brazil – Isadora Araujo Cruxen (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

    Public–private collaboration is heralded as a potential solution to the capital shortfalls and operational deficiencies that plague the provision of infrastructure services in developing countries. Much of the policy advice in this regard focuses on how governments can create an institutional environment conducive to private investment. Yet, we know little about the long-term dynamics and practical outcomes of these ‘collaborative’ arrangements. Taking mixed-ownership arrangements as instances of public–private collaboration, this paper traces the trajectories of two large-scale mixed water and sanitation companies in Brazil over nearly 20 years to explore how relations between state and private actors unfolded over time, and how they shaped company management and service provision. Conventional views position mixed models as either the ‘best of two worlds’, where public and private actors discipline one another, or a ‘two-headed monster’ afflicted by competing interests. Drawing on document analysis and in-depth interviews, my analysis suggests that neither of these pictures accurately captures the dynamics of public–private interactions. I argue these dynamics can only be understood through a politically contingent view of the effects of different ownership arrangements on company orientation and service provision. This entails both disaggregating private sector participation and examining how politics infuses different planning rationalities into the state. Taken together, the case studies challenge the conventional view that institutional incentives are effective means for aligning the interests of different actors. In fact, institutional reforms designed to insulate service provision from politics may risk closing channels through which progressive and redistributive outcomes can be achieved.
  • Varieties of bureaucracy: How frontline agencies implement primary education in rural India – Akshay Mangla (University of Oxford)

    What makes primary education work for the poor? This paper investigates the critical challenge of implementing social services in rural India. Notwithstanding the same federal policies, political institutions and administrative structures, the implementation of primary education varies remarkably across Indian states. Much of this variation is unexplained by income, urbanisation, geography and other conventional factors. To account for these puzzling differences, this paper demonstrates the significance of bureaucratic norms, the informal rules of the game that influence how state officials understand their duties and policy mandates. I construct an analytical typology of bureaucratic norms (legalistic and deliberative) and delineate the mechanisms by which they drive implementation. I show that deliberative agencies are more effective in implementing primary education, since they can interpret policies in a flexible manner and adapt services to the needs of the poor. By contrast, legalistic agencies, which adhere strictly to formal rules and procedures, implement policies unevenly and tend to override the needs of marginalised social groups. The findings are based on a multi-level comparative design and 22 months of field research in four north Indian states (Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Bihar), including 524 interviews and focus group discussions with state officials, school teachers and parents, participant observation within the education bureaucracy, and village- and school-level ethnographies. Bringing the norms that bind frontline agencies into focus, the findings shed new light on when and how non-Weberian states in the developing world effectively deliver programmatic social services for the poor.
  • Public service and state legitimacy: Challenging the idea of a linear link – Aoife McCullough (ODI) and Clare Cummings (University of Manchester)

    Do public services create the basis for a social contract that can underpin state legitimacy? We analyse data from a three-wave panel survey, representative at the subnational level in Nepal and Pakistan, conducted between 2012 and 2018. We draw on Beetham’s three-dimensional legitimacy framework to develop a set of questions that seek to capture the strength of a state’s legitimacy. The survey also includes questions on access to, and satisfaction with, basic services, including education, health, water and social protection. We test the relationship between access to services, satisfaction with services and an index of perception of state legitimacy using regression analysis. Qualitative interviews were conducted in the same subregions to interrogate the regression findings. In Swat, Pakistan, service delivery was linked to struggles over the political settlement, in the sense that certain services reproduced class relations that had been contested during the Taliban uprising, while in Nepal, people interpreted fairness in the distribution of services as signalling the degree to which the state valued them, in comparison with other social groups. We conclude that, far from being a site for the uncomplicated construction of state legitimacy, public services are an arena in which struggles over identity and inclusion in the national political settlement are acted out, with conflicting implications for state legitimacy.

Wednesday 11th September

9:00 – 10:30: Parallel Session 5

Governing Cities D1

  • Maintaining dominance in capital cities: A comparison of Ethiopia and Uganda – Eyob Balcha Gebremariam (LSE) and Tom Goodfellow (University of Sheffield)*

    The role of capital cities in national politics is especially pronounced in countries with high levels of urban primacy, where the capital city is also the core of the economy and few other cities exert significant political or economic influence. Addis Ababa and Kampala are two such cities, both of them being around ten times the size of the next largest city. Ethiopia and Uganda are also countries in which a dominant coalition/party has held power for well over a quarter of a century (with significant donor support), though this has come under increasing strain in recent years. In this paper, we explore the different ways in which the city has functioned as a site for the consolidation and maintenance of regime dominance. We explore how, in different ways, Addis Ababa and Kampala have been instrumentalised as spaces for the repression of opposition, sites for the building of political support through the distribution of benefits, and theatres for symbolic public projects and populist gestures. Through this comparison, we analyse how similar tendencies towards the centralisation of urban control and the cyclical use of repression and co-optation play out in very different ways in the two cities, which we link to the broader political settlement and evolution of state institutions.
  • Seeking dominance in capital cities: A comparison of Bangladesh and Zambia – David Jackman (SOAS), Marja Hinfelaar (SAIPAR), Sishuwa Sishuwa (University of Cape Town) and Danielle Resnick (IFPRI)*

    Understanding how political coalitions establish and maintain dominance is crucial in light of authoritarian transitions worldwide. The centrality of capital cities to political systems suggests that they are of particular importance to how power is consolidated and resisted at a national level. This paper draws together two cases from societies where dominant parties are emerging, to examine how the ruling party is asserting authority and limiting dissent in their capitals. Focusing on Bangladesh (Dhaka) and Zambia (Lusaka), the paper reveals the diverse strategies deployed, ranging from brute intimidation and arrest, to the growth of surveillance technologies, and co-optation of potential threats. The cases highlight how such dominance is achieved through changes in the character of political coalitions, and greater reliance on the apparatus of the state. This ‘centralisation’ of coercion may, however, threaten the legitimacy of parties with the public at large, and ultimately undermine their durability.
  • Arbitrary power and social control in authoritarian states: Governance through unpredictability in Museveni’s Uganda – Rebecca Tapscott (Albert Hirschman Center on Democracy, Graduate Institute)

    This paper – which summarises the main findings of the author’s book project – explores how the arbitrariness and unpredictability that characterise governance in modern authoritarian regimes can be a foundational component of state power. Recent scholarship on authoritarianism has noted a trend in which institutions designed to check arbitrary power are hollowed out to facilitate its exercise, pointing to a seemingly global rise of populism. Even as these scholars grapple with how to analyse this disjunct, scholars of developing and post-colonial states have been doing so for decades. This paper puts these two literatures in conversation, through a grounded study of local security in Museveni’s Uganda. The paper offers three contributions to studies of arbitrary power in modern states. First, it elaborates a state form that relies on unpredictable and arbitrary assertions and denials of governing authority to fragment and undermine civil society, atomise citizens, and limit the space for political claim-making. Second, it presents a four-part analytic framework to show the mechanics of this mode of arbitrary governance. Third, it applies this framework in four urban contexts in Uganda to produce a typology of varieties of arbitrary governance, illustrating how others might use the model to untangle how unpredictability is produced and can be used to govern. The paper thus shows how the pluralisation and fragmentation of seemingly inclusive institutions can produce effective exclusion.
  • Understanding how civil society contributes to urban inclusion in India – Diana Mitlin (University of Manchester)*

    Commitment to pro-poor development has increased with the SDGs. But it is widely recognised that this is difficult to achieve. The potential significance of civil society for pro-poor politics, extended citizenship and welfare measures is acknowledged, but remains contested. Wide-ranging historical analyses point to the contribution of civil society, but studies of specific civil society interventions tend to be pessimistic about their substantive contribution to redistribution and relational transformation. This paper uses longitudinal analyses of a set of civil society agencies in India to explore this apparent contradiction.

    A study of the government programme, the Basic Services for the Urban Poor sub-mission, identifies and elucidates the mechanisms for civil society influence. Organisations of informal settlement and pavement dwellers working in Pune and Bhubaneshwar have been able to improve state welfare ‘offers’. Strategic engagement with the governmentalities of urban development enables civil society to amend project interventions and routinised processes through the use of relational and financial capital. Sustained efforts over time with complementary ‘embeddedness’ at multiple levels of the state are both important. However, success cannot be taken for granted. Maintaining accountability within grassroots organisations and social movement alliances, and between these organisations and the state, remains important; also important are reflection and learning.

Tax and the Social Contract D2

  • Fiscal capacity in non-democratic states – Per Andersson (European University Institute)

    This paper is concerned with fiscal capacity in non-democratic states. Previous research has identified inclusive institutions and interstate warfare as important factors explaining state capacity, but key investments in fiscal capacity were made by autocratic regimes in peace time. Despite a growing literature on the politics in non-democratic states, we know little about how differences among autocracies matter for state capacity. In this paper I present a theory of fiscal capacity stressing domestic political institutions in non-democratic states. The main argument is that institutions created to solve commitment problems between ruler and elite in the face of a challenge to the regime – such as parliaments or councils of nobles – also help solve commitment problems associated with fiscal capacity investments. Institutionalised power-sharing gives the elite the ability to check opportunistic behaviour by the leader (such as expropriation of wealth) and thus reduces the risks associated with higher state capacity. The empirical implications are straightforward: fiscal capacity investments, such as the introduction of an income tax, are more likely in non-democratic states with institutionalised power-sharing. In order to test this argument, I use a novel dataset over tax introductions covering 220 countries from 1750 and 2017, as well as newly available data over political institutions and government revenue. The results show that institutionalised power-sharing increases the likelihood of income tax introductions in undemocratic states. In contrast to previous studies, I find no effect of elite-competition or interstate warfare.
  • Sorting out the confusion: Conceptualising the fiscal contract – Ane Karoline Bak (Aarhus University)

    When diving into the literature on taxation, fiscal contracts and governance in developing countries, it is easy to become confused by the long list of closely related concepts: the fiscal constitution, the fiscal contract, the fiscal social contract, revenue bargains and the governance dividend of taxation. Before we can begin to understand the potential role of taxation for the development of a progressive fiscal social contract between state and society, it is imperative that we define these concepts theoretically and determine how to observe them empirically. This paper will sort out some of the confusion by giving proper attention to one key concept in the literature, the fiscal contract. Though often theorised as an outcome of revenue bargains, it is not clear how to recognise a fiscal contract when we see it. Based on a comprehensive literature review, this paper identifies two strands of usage of the fiscal contract concept in the literature. These are developed into two theoretically consistent and empirically relevant concepts, the exchange-based fiscal contract and the norm-based fiscal social contract. The two concepts prove beneficial for developing specific analytical strategies for studying the role of taxation in state–society accountability relationships. This paper thus contributes to building a foundation for systematic, theory-based empirical research that can deepen the knowledge on taxation, fiscal social contracts and governance in today’s developing countries.
  • The new politics of revenue bargaining – Marianne Ulriksen (University of Southern Denmark) and Anne-Mette Kjaer (Aarhus University)

    When angry Ugandan citizens in July 2018 took to Twitter to defend their right to exchange arguments and views on the social media, they were protesting a new controversial social media tax. Similarly, when Tanzanian traders closed shops in November 2013, they did it to show their disapproval of the cost of new fiscal devices introduced to collect value added tax. These protests are just a few recent examples of how African governments’ focus on raising domestic revenue has served to politicise revenue collection in which taxpayers engage in revenue bargaining and thus affect the making of fiscal contracts between state and society.

    Revenue bargaining has received renewed interest in the literature. However, the literature lacks a micro-foundation of theory and clear testable propositions, which link the interests of actual or potential revenue providers to public policy outcomes. In this paper, we build a theoretical framework that enables us to explore how revenue providers affect the existence and nature of a fiscal contract. In this framework, we consider the interests and bargaining resources of both the incumbent rulers and revenue providers; we pay attention to the mechanisms and conditions by which revenue bargains lead to fiscal contract outcomes, and to the mechanisms and conditions when a fiscal contract is not achieved. The framework is used to analyse a range of empirical cases, from which we draw examples to illustrate our arguments.

State Capacity II: Pockets of Effectiveness (PoEs) C2

  • Bureaucratic ‘PoEs’ as windows onto the politics of state-building in Africa: Comparative insights from a political settlements perspective – Sam Hickey (University of Manchester) et al.*

    It remains a puzzle that certain parts of the state function remarkably effectively in developing countries, despite being located in governance contexts that many characterise as dysfunctional. Known as ‘pockets of effectiveness’ (PoEs), such high-performing agencies are increasingly seen as critical to development prospects in developing countries. This comparative paper shows that investigating the pattern of public sector performance over time through PoEs can offer an important window onto how deeper processes of state-building are playing out within Africa, particularly in relation to the politics of regime survival. It draws on case-studies in five countries (Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia) to show how public sector performance is directly shaped by the ideas and incentives that characterise different types of political settlement. We also draw attention to the transnational and ideational aspects of state-building in the Global South, including the role of international development agencies in determining the shape of the state and what form of development it has the capacity to promote.
  • Beyond executive will: When merely interested or inattentive elites foster PoEs in state administration – Erin McDonnell (University of Notre Dame)

    This paper analyses the conditions under which parts of the administrative state obtain sufficient protection from neopatrimonial pressures to inculcate a highly effective niche within the administrative state – what are sometimes called ‘pockets of effectiveness’ or ‘administrative bright spots’. The conceptual move to focus on protection from neopatrimonial pressures reconciles seemingly discrepant arguments about whether highly effective niches require autonomy from political elites or, conversely, the active sponsorship of political elites. The analysis examines high-performing public sector niches from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Brazil and China, drawing on more than a year of qualitative fieldwork in Ghana, including over 100 interviews with civil servants, together with extensive primary and secondary source comparative historical analysis for the other cases. Comparative logic helps identify key structural differences at the time of the emergence of each case as a pocket of effectiveness: each selected case of a successful ‘pocket of effectiveness’ is paired with a control case, either from within the same organisation, or by using the same organisation before it emerged as highly effective to obtain within-case comparative leverage. The paper develops a four-part typology of political elite interest alignment with organisational goals that draws attention to two typically overlooked conditions that are also capable of fostering effective niches: merely interested elites and inattentive elites. The framework engages a larger pantheon of work on state capacity, including work by Charles Tilly and Daniel Carpenter.
  • Public–private partnerships can create PoEs through embedded autonomy: The case of a Brazilian healthcare public–private partnership – Maria Joachim (University of Michigan)

    Public–private partnerships (PPPs) are an internationally proposed way to deal with the classic problem of poorly managed public sector bureaucracies by a form of privatisation. Studying PPPs allows researchers to engage with the broad debate about the risks and rewards of private sector provision of public services. The northeastern state of Bahia, Brazil, characterised by machine politics and an inefficient public sector, represents both a case where the public sector is challenged enough to evince understandable interest in PPPs, and also where the overall politics and rule of law are convoluted enough to suggest that a PPP is likely not to work. Based on highly unusual and extensive ethnographic research, I identified the successful creation of an island of effectiveness in healthcare delivery, embedded in the local issues of Bahia, Brazil, but autonomous from the worst of local politics at both the state and the municipality levels.

The Transnational Politics of Development I D7

  • The state, local industrial development and market-seeking GVCs: The case of pharmaceuticals in South Africa – Rory Horner (University of Manchester)

    This article challenges understandings of industrial development in the context of global value chains, and how state policymakers seek to shape such development. Drawing on primary research on South Africa’s pharmaceutical industry, it looks at how the local industry is largely crowded-out by a dominant form of engagement with GVCs oriented towards market-seeking imports. Local firms are mostly limited to forming marketing and regulatory roles in partnership with importing companies and local industrial development is essentially a ‘third wheel’ to imported final products. In such a context, rather than inside-out, export-oriented, asset-exploiting development or outside-in, asset-seeking investment, the state’s role in shaping value capture trajectories goes beyond facilitating integration into GVCs. While the facilitator and regulator roles have struggled, and the producer role has been mooted yet has not taken off, particular controversy has emerged over the influential role of the state as a buyer, through public procurement. Thus, considerable conflict has emerged within the state and over how to promote ‘development’ in the context of the pharmaceutical industry. Overall, the article questions how value capture trajectories are shaped within GVCs. It points to development beyond GVCs, the key role of the state as a buyer, and the conflict over development outcomes within GVCs.
  • The politics of banking regulation in developing countries in an era of financial globalisation – Emily Jones (University of Oxford)

    International banking standards are intended for the regulation of large, complex, international banks with trillions of dollars in assets and operations across the globe. Yet they are being implemented in countries with nascent financial markets and small banks that have yet to venture into international markets. Why is this? This paper presents the key findings of a four-year research project that develops a new framework to explain regulatory interdependence between countries in the core and the periphery of the global financial system. Drawing on in-depth analysis of 11 countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America, it shows how financial globalisation generates strong reputational and competitive incentives for developing countries to converge on international standards. It explains why some configurations of domestic politics within developing countries and forms of integration into global finance generate convergence with international standards, while other configurations lead to divergence. The research contributes to our understanding of the ways in which governments and firms in the core of global finance powerfully shape regulatory decisions in the periphery, and the ways that governments and firms from peripheral developing countries manoeuvre within the constraints and opportunities created by financial globalisation.
  • The dynamics of dispersed global governance: Explaining ‘developing’ country challenges to the global governance of foreign direct investment – Stephen Buzdugan (Manchester Metropolitan University)

    This paper seeks to explain the political dynamics behind the decisions of ‘developing’ countries such as Ecuador and Indonesia and ‘rising powers’ such as South Africa and India to unilaterally terminate their bilateral investment treaties (BITs) with states in the so-called ‘North’, which are major sources of foreign direct investment (FDI). First, the paper argues that the structural dimensions of bilateral investment treaties, which in effect govern the activities of host countries mainly in the ‘Global South’ and make them vulnerable to lawsuits by multinational corporations (MNCs), have been under-theorised. Thus, it suggests a concept of ‘dispersed global governance’ to explain the manner in which the nearly 3,500 BITs in essence act a system of global governance for FDI without a centralised organisation, such as the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in the case of trade. The paper then argues, using qualitative data from South Africa, that the structural features of this ‘dispersed’ system have allowed (and even encouraged) states which have not realised the purported benefits of FDI for development, and have been exposed to large disputes from MNCs, due to attempts to broaden domestic development policy space, to reconfigure their investment relations with the ‘North’. The paper then concludes by showing that such efforts on the part of the ‘developing’ or ‘rising’ countries to expand development policy space is better seen as an attempt towards regulation, rather than protectionism, which may offer insights into other areas of global governance, such as the WTO and the Doha Development Round.
  • The politics of trade protection in North Africa – Adeel Malik (University of Oxford)

    What are the institutional and political foundations of trade policy? Is such politics of policy still relevant in the age of liberalisation, when trade tariffs have fallen in prominence? To answer these questions, this chapter sheds light on the politics of partial liberalisation using the strategic trade policy shift induced by the European Union’s trade agreements with Egypt and Morocco that resulted in an across-the-board reduction in tariffs and followed by a wave of non-tariff measures in the decade of 2000s. Using fine-grained data on the presence of politically connected businesses across different manufacturing sub-sectors, the chapter demonstrates that politically connected sectors received disproportionately higher levels of non-tariff protection in the wake of the EU-induced tariff liberalisations. The bulk of these non-tariff measures were technical barriers to trade that require greater administrative oversight through bureaucratic inspections and conformity assessments, and are therefore susceptible to political abuse.

11:00 – 12:30: Parallel Session 6

Power and the Contested Politics of Inclusion C2

  • Rethinking empowerment and accountability in difficult settings – John Gaventa, Katy Oswald, Colin Anderson, and Anuradha Joshi (IDS)

    Over the last two decades, ‘empowerment and accountability’ have become firmly lodged in the repertoires of development theory and practice. These concepts and their implications for where power lies are inherently political. However, many of the implicit theories of social change which are often associated with these themes have largely arisen from relatively open and somewhat stable contexts. To counter these gaps, the A4EA Research Programme is engaged is asking the question: How and under what conditions does social and political action contribute to empowerment and accountability in fragile, conflict, and violent settings (FCVAS)? Two years into the programme we have engaged in a wide set of exploratory research projects in Egypt, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nigeria and Pakistan. Important messages are emerging about:

    • Context – in fragile, violent and conflict settings factors like fear, closing civic space, fragmented authorities and historical and gender-related norms challenge fundamental assumptions about the conditions necessary for ‘voice’, empowerment and accountability.
    • Strategies and Mechanisms for Action – social and political action that takes place in these settings often takes less institutional and observable forms than we might often expect in other settings.
    • Outcomes – many of our findings challenge conventional linear theories of change which suggest that empowerment leads to accountability through the public expression of citizen voice.

    We will present a synthesis paper that develop these findings further, backed by evidence from our 15 empirical studies, reflecting on and unpacking further the implications for existing theories and strategies for empowerment and accountability as political aims.

  • Why does inclusion matter? Assessing the links between inclusive processes and inclusive outcomes – Alina Rocha Menocal (ODI)

    Inclusion – in terms of both process and outcome – has emerged as a leading priority in international development. And there are good reasons for this. As the evidence consistently shows, over the long term, states and societies with more inclusive institutions, both political and economic, are also more peaceful and more resilient, and tend to be better governed. However, this correlation does not establish causation in any particular direction.

    So what is the nature of the relationship between inclusive processes and inclusive outcomes? This paper examines the current state of knowledge and key debates around inclusion, and centres around five key insights that emerge from existing research:

    1. There is no linear r(causal) relationship between inclusive governance and inclusive development.
    2. Inclusive processes do not automatically translate into inclusive outcomes; and
    3. Inclusive governance is not a pre-requisite for inclusive development.
    4. However, exclusionary development deeply undermines the quality and effectiveness of inclusive governance;
    5. And citizens tend to have an instrumental view of (inclusive) governance: they are concerned much more about delivery than they are about process.

    These findings help to highlight the profound complexities and tensions, dilemmas and trade-offs around efforts to promote inclusion in terms of both process and outcomes. Available evidence also captures how it is at once so essential and yet so challenging for inclusive governance to be more effective at promoting inclusive outcomes. Despite the challenges identified, the paper also explores when and how inclusive governance has helped to foster more inclusive development.

  • National identity data bases, asymmetric information and asymmetric power: A political settlements analysis – Mushtaq Khan and Pallavi Roy (SOAS)

    The relationship between the implementability of formal institutions, the role of informal institutions and the distribution of political power has been a major theme in institutional economics and for policy. Informality and corruption in developing countries are detrimental for the poor. When poor citizens try to access public services or enter productive activities, they can face high informal costs, including predatory extraction. A plausible case can be made that the creation of national identity data bases (NIDBs) will particularly help to enforce the formal rights of marginalised citizens. However, the results of NIDB registration in developing countries have been mixed.

    To explain this anomalous effect of NIDBs, we develop a distinction between exclusion and expropriation based on asymmetric information and that based on asymmetric power. The political settlements framework is used to explore this distinction and we use evidence from Asia and Africa to discuss the relevance of asymmetric power for policy design. Taking steps to formalise economic interactions by plugging the ‘identity gap’ through information that can determine the citizen’s rights to services does not address the asymmetry in holding power between the weaker and powerful sections of society. In countries where the rule of law is poor and political power difficult to check, such formalisation can allow a centralisation of information. This enables the powerful to control and expropriate more easily, with adverse impacts on political and economic inclusion. This demonstrates the importance of analytical frames for developing effective policy.

Thinking and Working Politically III D7

  • Interrogating the new politics of development – Rajesh Venugopal (LSE)

    This paper evaluates how politics as a category of explanation has been inserted into development analytics, and into the analysis of development programming. The identification of politics as ubiquitous in development, and as a critical source of development failure, has led many development agencies to invest in deeper forms of political analysis and to deploy political economy frameworks as part of their project planning and preparation. It has led, for example, to the growing influence of political settlements analysis in the analysis and planning of development, and on the growth of new practitioner-academic thought collectives, such as ‘Thinking Politically’ and ‘Doing Development Differently’. However, the growing popularity of politics as an explanatory category has also come at the expense of conceptual precision, so that the singularity of the term obscures the very different ways it is used. This paper takes a critical lens to the new politics of development, and to the role of ‘politics’ as a category of social explanation. It draws on narratives of development failure, and the evaluation of a large database of development project evaluations as a heuristic to identify the very different ways that politics is conceptualised and deployed as a category of explanation in development. In doing so, it identifies and expands on three very distinct ways in which the concept of politics is understood and used, and uses this typology to reflect on how knowledge has been constructed on this basis, and what consequences it bears.
  • Fighting the party machine: Outsiders’ incentives for programmatic governance reform in emerging democracies – Jonathan Phillips (University of São Paulo)

    Episodes of subnational programmatic governance reform in entrenched clientelist contexts are more frequent than existing slow-moving explanations of modernisation theory and externally mobilised parties would predict. To fill this explanatory gap, I argue that ‘outsider’ politicians can systematically act as unlikely programmatic reformers. Yet, contrary to existing claims that it is outsiders’ personal experience that motivates their reformism, the evidence suggests that it is instead the competitive relationship between an outsider party leader and an entrenched clientelist party machine that generates the incentive to dismantle clientelism. Faced with powerful co-partisan elites able to launch a leadership challenge at any time, and with shallow roots in local clientelist networks, outsiders will be further weakened by perpetuating clientelist practices, which only serve to boost the resources and reputations of competing insiders. Instead, outsiders face strong incentives to fight their own party machine, using programmatic governance to tilt the flow of public funds away from co-partisan elites and towards centralised contracting that they are better able to extract rents from. A formal model confirms the power of these incentives, even where reform is electorally costly. Case study and comparative subnational evidence of elite behaviour from Brazil, India and Nigeria demonstrates the relevance of intra-party competition to governance choices. Finally, drawing on a close-election regression discontinuity for mayoral candidates in Brazil, I provide indicative evidence that previously identified patterns of outsider-led governance reform are valid only when outsider candidates are forced to reckon with entrenched clientelist parties.
  • Learning to think and research politically: Confessions of the Developmental Leadership Programme – Chris Roche (La Trobe University), Claire McLoughlin, David Hudson (Developmental Leadership Program, Birmingham) and Chris Adams (University of Oxford)

    Thinking and working politically may be the new mantra for development agencies, yet researchers often neglect to do this themselves when they conduct and communicate research on politics. In the same way that politics is key to reform, it is also key to research uptake. Researchers need to walk the walk. This presentation will share insights from the experience of the Developmental Leadership Programme (DLP) on what we have learnt about how – and how not – to work politically to address the gap between research and practice. A decade of DLP research has shown that building political will for change involves a collective process whereby motivated individuals work together to overcome collective action problems and change established ideas. A similar process arguably needs to happen within research–funder partnerships, to build political will for research uptake. Based on insights from a recent impact review, we will move beyond the obvious conclusion that there is no linear path from evidence to impact, to explore the multiple intersecting pathways involved. We will show how the feedback loops from successful or unsuccessful practice are especially important in understanding how to do research that can build individual and collective will for change. Researching politically means building relationships with champions who can transmit key ideas, embedding research in knowledge brokering services, and creating tighter feedback loops. We will conclude by setting out how, over the next three years, DLP will try to apply its learning on the politics of development to the politics of research.

State Capacity III: State-Building and Performance D1

  • The politics of state-building in Africa: The cases of Ghana and Rwanda – Abdul-Gafaru Abdulai (University of Ghana) and Benjamin Chemouni (University of Cambridge)*

    This paper seeks to explain variations in state-building trajectory in Africa, taking the examples of Ghana and Rwanda – two African countries that have had divergent experiences with regards to building bureaucratic capacity during the last three decades. Between 1996 and 2017, Rwanda’s score in World Bank’s ‘state effectiveness’ indicator improved dramatically by 51.4 percent, while Ghana’s performance has been largely stagnant and even declined by about 5 percent. To account for these divergent experiences, our analysis here, centred on the dimensions of meritocratic recruitment and bureaucratic capacity in historical perspective, focuses on the dispersal of power across elite factions as an explanatory factor.

    In the early post-independence period, Ghana’s public institutions were hailed as one of the best and most efficient in Africa. However, the capacity of the public bureaucracy has been significantly undermined by an increasingly partisan and polarised political environment. Since the return to competitive multiparty elections in 1992, in particular, meritocratic recruitments and promotions have increasingly given way to patronage-based appointments within the public bureaucracy. Regime changes therefore often result in a purge of the public service in which senior bureaucrats have either been sacked or transferred to less glamourous offices. Rather than being motivated by dealing with incompetence, this practice is driven primarily by concerns around the personal loyalty and perceived party affiliation of technocrats, and therefore as a way of building patronage for incumbent regimes. In Rwanda, in contrast, the post-genocide government focused early on building bureaucratic capacity and laid the basis for meritocratic recruitment.

  • What is the state for? Contestations around the definition of ‘good governance’ in post-apartheid South Africa – Tracy Ledger (University of the Witwatersrand)

    This paper will present findings from ethnographic work undertaken in various locations in the public sector in South Africa over the past five years. Much of this work had as its goal the detailed investigation of institutional failure, particularly in local government. One recurring theme throughout our research was the clear contestation between orthodox (neo-liberal) perceptions of ‘good governance’ held by entities such as the National Treasury, the Auditor-General and foreign donors, and the perceptions of people who worked and lived in these municipalities. These different perceptions resulted in divergent conceptualisations of critical governance issues, such as corruption, and reflected clear differences in ideas about the role of the state in post-apartheid socio-economic transformation. We believe that these differences – rather than lack of technical capacity – lie at the heart of much of the resistance that good governance regulation has faced in local government in South Africa.

    This paper explores in detail the nature of these divergent perceptions, linking these to the ways in which the pre-1994 characteristics of the state closely limit how transformation is popularly imagined post-1994. It raises questions around what the state is ‘for’ in a country that purports to have a deep commitment to transformation, and how orthodox views of good governance might be amended to be more reflective of citizen perceptions of the role of the state.

  • Reshaping the uneven territorial reach of the state: The politics of a teacher payment reform in the DRC – Tom De Herdt and Cyril Owen Brandt (University of Antwerp)

    Our paper analyses the politics of the reform of teacher payment modalities in the DRC. The reform focused on paying all teachers via a bank account, so as to close off the various sources of leakage involved in working through (mainly church-organised) school networks. We conceive of the reform as a major effort to overcome the uneven territorial reach of the DRC state.

    Our fieldwork focuses on the province of Haut-Katanga, but covers the whole policy chain from Kinshasa over the provincial capital of Lubumbashi and the subdivisions up to the school level. We conducted a series of semi-structured interviews over a total of 15 months, with teachers, school principals, government and religious officials, staff from private companies and NGOs in charge of providing salaries. We also combined the qualitative data with quantitative analysis of archival data managed by different public administrative entities.

    Even while it was clear from the very start that paying all teachers through an almost non-existing banking system was going to be an impossible venture, the reform was generally deemed to be a success. In fact, the people most negatively affected by the reform contributed most strongly to a coherent representation of it. Within the symbolic boundaries set by the reform, however, teachers and school networks deployed a multitude of tactics to come to terms with the reform, with the effect of almost completely offsetting its intended effects and of deepening the existing unevenness in the geography of statehood.

The Transnational Politics of Development II D2

  • In China’s wake: A typology of political-economic trajectories among resource exporters during the commodity boom – Nicholas Jepson (University of Manchester)

    In the early 2000s, Chinese demand for imported commodities ballooned as the country continued its breakneck economic growth. Simultaneously, global markets in metals and fuels experienced a boom of unprecedented extent and duration. Meanwhile, resource-rich states in the Global South, from Argentina to Angola, began to advance a range of new development strategies, with a number breaking away from policy orthodoxies to which many had long appeared tied. This paper reveals the causal connections between these three phenomena, showing that over the boom years Chinese demand not only transformed the global commodity trade, but in so doing opened the way for the emergence of several new political-economic orientations among resource-rich states in the Global South. I present a typology identifying five such trajectories, each one linked to a different form of state–society complex found among resource-exporting countries. A key claim is that three of the emergent pathways represented fundamental breaks with previous donor- and creditor-imposed policy discipline – and would have been infeasible without the reshaping of extractive sectors in the wake of spiralling Chinese demand. Ultimately, this analysis of the boom years highlights the potential for China’s continuing rise to undermine long-held assumptions around the broader logics of development.
  • The political economy of labour reforms in Bangladesh (with some Vietnam comparisons) – Naomi Hossain (IDS and ESID)*

    The political economy of labour reforms in Bangladesh changed after the Rana Plaza disaster that killed 1,134 workers in 2013. This paper will present findings of a study of the shifts in power and political relationships since the disaster, drawing attention to how Rana Plaza resulted in a(n overdue) shift in both the willingness and capacity of the state to act to protect – or to control – workers in the garments industry. In understanding why and how the Bangladeshi state has made these moves in the country’s vital garments industry, the paper will draw on comparisons with parallel changes in labour relations in Vietnam. It will explore how differences in the political settlements of Bangladesh and Vietnam and specifically how garments factory owners and (mainly women) workers are incorporated within those have driven very different approaches to labour reforms, and more recent signs of convergence in state-worker relations.
  • Special economic zones, structural transformation and inclusive growth in the context of China’s expanding global influence – Liliane Mouan (Coventry University), Jan Knoerich, and Charlotte Goodburn (King’s College London)

    Special economic zones (SEZs) are accorded increasing policy preference and priority in many developing countries. Many of these countries have been inspired by the success of China’s export-oriented development strategies, and especially the successful deployment of SEZs to attract foreign investment, boost manufacturing and trigger a period of quick industrialisation. Yet, the effectiveness of SEZs in driving economic growth and structural transformation in economies other than China has so far been mixed, and other important questions concerning the dynamics of local adaptations and implications of the Chinese SEZ-led development model remain even less well understood.

    This paper explores the potential and pitfalls of SEZs in the context of China’s growing global influence. It focuses on SEZ development in Ethiopia, India and Pakistan, to examine how the SEZ as a development strategy becomes translated within specific local contexts. The paper highlights the role of the state and of public regulation in this context, as well as the emergence and agency of new social actors in challenging exclusionary policies and contesting SEZs. The role of Chinese foreign direct investment will also be given specific consideration.

    The paper draws on a recently completed pilot study on the development and impacts of SEZs in Africa and South Asia. And it provides preliminary findings about the transformative potential of SEZs, the successes and challenges facing developing countries in their journey towards industrialisation and structural change, and the implications of China’s global rise for inclusive development in the global South.