Date: December 1995
Creator: Iheduru, Obioma M.
Description: Two recent developments dominate the political economy of Sub Saharan Africa -- the adoption of economic structural adjustment reforms and the emergence of pressures for the democratization of the political process. Economic reform measures have spawned civil society, made up of anti-authoritarian, anti-statist, non-governmental organizations, that demand political liberalization. This study is an attempt to analyze, theoretically and quantitatively, the unanticipated association between these developments. Democratic institutions inherited by Sub Saharan Africa at independence were subverted either through military coups or by the abuse and misuse of the institutions by an inordinately ambitious political elite. Thus, about a decade into independence more than three quarters of the sub continent virtually came under authoritarian rule. Contemporaneously there was a decline in the economies of these countries, forcing them to borrow from international financial institutions, in order to offset their balance of payment difficulties. By the mid-1980s most of Sub Saharan Africa had also instituted structural adjustment programs. Using a pooled cross-sectional time series model of analysis, data gathered from Sub Saharan African countries are analysed to test the explanatory power of the three extant contending theories of development: classical, dependency, and neoliberal. Then, most importantly, the analysis examines the relationship between ...
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