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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The politics and challenges of institutional transformation in Sub-Saharan Africa
Author:Kpessa, Michael W.
Periodical:Ghana Journal of Development Studies (ISSN 0855-6768)
Geographic term:Subsaharan Africa
institutional change
political change
Abstract:This paper draws insights from theories of institutional change to analyze the interface between indigenous and contemporary socio-political institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa. It shows that the question of institutional change is more complex than a simple two-sided debate between path-dependence and path-departure, or continuity and change. Tracing the politics of institutional development and change in SSA over time, the paper shows that colonial rule left an unintended legacy of institutional dualism - the formal and the informal - which the recent processes of structural adjustment and democratization have re-enforced. Thus, the development of governance institutions in SSA is far from over as actors and interests associated with both formal and informal institutional settings compete for legitimacy and sovereignty, while at the same time introducing new goals to enhance their efficiency, and combining existing elements within the overall institutional repertoire in a process of change within and beyond path dependence. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]