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Working paper 146
Nansozi K. Muwanga, Paul I. Mukwaya and Tom Goodfellow
Although Yoweri Museveni’s National Resistance Movement (NRM) has dominated Uganda’s political scene for over three decades, the capital Kampala refuses to submit to the NRM’s grip. As opposition activism in the city has become increasingly explosive, the ruling elite has developed a widening range of strategies to try and win urban support and constrain opposition. In this paper, we subject the NRM’s strategies over the decade 2010-2020 to close scrutiny. We explore elite strategies pursued both from the ‘top down’, through legal and administrative manoeuvres and a ramping up of violent coercion, and from the ‘bottom up’, through attempts to build support among urban youth and infiltrate organisations in the urban informal transport sector. Although this evolving suite of strategies and tactics has met with some success in specific places and times, opposition has constantly resurfaced. Overall, efforts to entrench political dominance of the capital have repeatedly failed; yet challenges to the regime’s dominance have also been unable to weaken it in any sustained way. We examine why each strategy for dominance has produced limited gains, arguing that together these strategies reproduced a situation of intensely contested control, in which no single group or elite can completely dominate the city.
Working paper 145
This paper analyses the politics of shelter provision in three African cities, focusing on the needs of and provision for the low- and middle-income residents. Housing is a priority for low- and middle-income households. Governments influence multiple facets of land and shelter and affect the shelter options realisable for urban residents. The significance of housing to citizen wellbeing means that housing policy and programming is attractive to politicians seeking popular support.
The framework of political settlements is used to structure the analysis. In all three cities, national political elites seek to influence housing outcomes. In the two capital cities, elites use clientelism (backed up by violence) to advantage themselves and secure rents for influential local groups (or factions). Territorial controls are used by elites to influence electoral outcomes, while approaches to housing help to gain legitimacy through strengthening paradigmatic ideas that encapsulate a vision for development.
To date, the framework has primarily been applied to the national level. Hence, this application is both novel and a test of the framework’s relevance at this spatial scale and with this sectoral focus.
Working paper 144
Rasmus Pedersen, Thabit Jacob and Peter Bofin
A great deal of attention has been paid to the distributional aspects of resource nationalism in countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, but less is known about its effects on the state’s capacity. By unpacking the relations between resource nationalism, legal and institutional reform, broader political dynamics and capacity in mainland Tanzania, this paper argues that the effect of resource nationalism is ambivalent, in that it may both enable and hinder the development of capacity. We identify two phases of resource nationalism: a soft economic one in the early years of the oil price boom; and a more radical one in more recent years, with different impacts on state agencies. Whereas Tanzania’s national oil company, the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC), and its Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA) initially developed into pockets of effectiveness aimed at re-regulating and controlling the rents under the private sector, they were increasingly being undermined as radical resource nationalism aimed at re-asserting sovereignty, reshaping ownership and increasing state control. We argue that these changes were decisively influenced by shifting ideas in the country’s ruling party on the role of the state in the economy, partly driven by intensified electoral competition. Although the radicalisation of resource nationalism was under way before the ascent to power of President Magufuli in 2015, his insecure power base led to decision-making being increasingly centralised, which undermined organisational autonomy and therefore capacity. These factors point to the importance of key decision-makers in supporting capacity, while also suggesting that direct political interference is likely to undermine capacity.
Working paper 143
Anthony Black, Pallavi Roy, Amirah El-Haddad and Kamil Yilmaz
This paper examines the political economy of development policy through the prism of four country case studies (Egypt, India, South Africa and Turkey) of the automotive industry. The objective is not simply to examine the developmental impact of automotive policy, but to illustrate how the policy regime has been the outcome of a contested process. Early growth in the auto sector in the four case countries was enabled by rents from protected markets. The emergence of competitive firms is critically dependent on the nature of state–business relationships and the net outcome of the rent-seeking process in the sector. This hinges on the bargaining power of business, foreign or domestic, vis à vis the government. If firms capture subsidies in return for support to weak and vulnerable ruling coalitions, the auto sector in that country can become the classic case of an infant industry remaining stunted. Where the distribution of power is such that ruling coalitions are able to discipline firms in the auto sector, so that they become globally competitive, developmental outcomes have been positive.
Working paper 142
Tom Lavers, Dunyat Haile and Yerosan Mesfin
This paper examines the politics of distributing the Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) in Ethiopia’s Oromiya region. Drawing on detailed case studies in Arssi and North Shewa, the paper highlights the importance of state infrastructural power in shaping programme distribution. Over 30 years of Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) rule, the party-state project of encadrement, or the incorporation of people into structures of control, has been taken to a new level. The creation of sub-kebele administrative structures and performance evaluations that reach down to the household level have underpinned a massive expansion of state infrastructural power – the ability of the central state to implement policies throughout its territory. The case studies highlight the importance of state infrastructural power in understanding PSNP implementation. Sub-kebele structures have become a key aspect of PSNP implementation, notably in identifying who receives support. However, strong state infrastructural power has also proven problematic, used to enforce graduation from the PSNP to meet centrally defined targets, regardless of the reality of local food insecurity. The Oromo protests and the ongoing transformation of the political landscape in Ethiopia have unleashed a counter-movement to the project of encadrement, leading to the collapse of these structures of control. This collapse threatens state infrastructural power, both in terms of service delivery and the coercive power of the central state.
Working paper 141
Tom Lavers, Dawud Mohammed and Bisrat Wolde Selassie
This paper examines the politics of distributing social transfers in Ethiopia’s Afar region. Two detailed case studies are used to examine the role of state infrastructural power and party politics in shaping distribution of the Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP). The paper emphasises the importance of situating the PSNP within the context of the expansion of a fused party-state alongside a process of economic ‘modernisation’ in Afar over recent decades. This process has contributed to food insecurity, which the PSNP is intended to address, as well as the limited nature of state infrastructural power, with the state reliant to a significant degree on clan structures for local governance. The result is that the PSNP – designed and financed by the federal government and donors – ultimately depends to a significant degree on the authority and territorial reach of the clan for implementation. While past evaluations have highlighted poor implementation, and particularly targeting, in Afar, the study finds that perceived legitimacy of the distribution of the PSNP varies considerably. Though past studies have pointed to the involvement of clan leaders as one of the main causes of poor implementation, this paper suggests that the more fundamental problem is, rather, the lack of infrastructural power of the state that necessitates the involvement of clan leaders.
Working paper 140
This paper explores how Kenya’s political settlement has shaped the governance of its emerging oil sector. Specifically, it examines three aspects of oil governance: (1) institutional arrangements within the sector; (2) the extent to which bureaucratic ‘pockets of effectiveness’ are present; (3) whether Kenya is striking deals with oil companies that are in the national interest. With regards to the first aspect, the paper finds that external actors have pressured Kenya to adopt best-practice institutions that separate the state’s roles. However, the implementation of these institutional arrangements has been hobbled by intra-elite fighting over rents, sounding a warning about promoting reforms that are not mapped onto domestic political realities. In terms of the presence of, or potential for, pockets of effectiveness, the paper finds that Kenya’s political settlement undermines incentives to invest in state capacity. The oil technocracy offers too lucrative a stream of rents, even before oil has started to flow, for it to be left in the hands of politically empowered and autonomous bureaucrats, given the necessities of generating political financing and ensuring factional balancing within a competitive and fragmented settlement. Finally, the paper finds that the ability – or inclination – of the state to negotiate sound deals with oil companies is undermined by Kenya’s political settlement. Deals are often motivated less by the national interest and more by political considerations and a desire to benefit particular individuals and factions. Concluding, the paper finds little evidence that Kenya’s ruling elites are demonstrating the commitment or capacity to manage the country’s oil resources in developmental ways.
Working paper 139
Addisu A. Lashitew, Michael L. Ross and Eric Werker
The ‘resource curse’ is often understood to imply poor growth in the non-resource sectors of the economy, but research into the diversification performance of resource-rich countries is limited. This paper surveys recent evidence and identifies empirical patterns in the economic diversification of resource-rich countries. Diversification is measured using the growth of per capita non-resource (manufacturing and services) sectors in domestic and export markets, which has a cleaner interpretation than competing measures. This measure is used to evaluate the long-term diversification of countries that started off as resource-dependent, and to rank countries according to their performance. We then identify policy-relevant correlates of diversification at the national level, including the acquisition of human capital, public and intellectual capital, and firm dynamism. More resource–dependent countries appear to perform worse on measures of human capital and intellectual capital, but more resource–abundant countries perform better on public capital and human capital accumulation. We examine the mechanisms behind diversification performance through in-depth case studies of Oman, Laos and Indonesia, and conclude by identifying policy lessons and future research directions.
Working paper 138
The new phase of social protection expansion in the Global South remains poorly understood. Current interpretations use problematic evidence and analysis to emphasise the influence of elections and donor pressure on the spread of social transfers in sub-Saharan Africa. We seek a more nuanced explanation, testing an alternative theoretical and methodological framework that traces the actual process through which countries have not just adopted but institutionalised social transfers. Two main pathways emerge: one involves less electorally competitive countries, where the primary motivation is elite perceptions of vulnerability in the face of distributional crises, augmented by ideas and resources from transnational policy coalitions. The other entails a primary role for transnational policy coalitions in adoption, before competitive elections and the need for visible distribution drive institutionalisation. Consequently, the latest phase of social transfer development results from the interplay of political survival strategies and transnational policy coalitions.