Researching the politics of development



WEBINAR – The politics of building state capacity in Africa: What role for ‘pockets of effectiveness’?

Dr Marja Hinfelaar, SAIPAR

Associate Professor Abdul-Gafaru Abdulai, University of Ghana

Dr Badru Bukenya, Makerere University

Chair: Professor Sam Hickey, Global Development Institute, The University of Manchester

The final webinar of the ESID series outlines findings from our ‘pockets of effectiveness’ research. Why do some parts of the state in developing countries function much more effectively than others? What role do these ‘pockets of effectiveness’ (PoEs) play in delivering development in Africa? This webinar summarises in-depth field research on PoEs in Ghana, Uganda and Zambia, arguing that their performance over time has to be understood in relation to the changing nature of political settlement dynamics. The session reveals the ways in which political rulers use PoEs to deliver political as well as developmental goals, and the ideologically-biased role of international development actors in supporting certain types of PoE. We also offer insights into the challenges of building state capacity amidst the transnational politics of regime survival.

Find out more about our research on pockets of effectiveness.