Release Date: April 18, 2014
Publisher: University of California Press
Following independence, most countries in Africa sought to develop, but their governments pursued policies that actually undermined their rural economies. Examining the origins of Africa’s “growth tragedy,” Markets and States in Tropical Africa has for decades shaped the thinking of practitioners and scholars alike. Robert H. Bates’s analysis now faces a challenge, however: the revival of economic growth on the continent. In this edition, Bates provides a new preface and chapter that address the seeds of Africa’s recovery and discuss the significance of the continent’s success for the arguments of this classic work.
“Ever since its original publication in 1981, this elegant study has been a clarion call for agrarian reform predicated on market incentives. Bates's perspective transcends the lingering ideological nostrums that still impede progress toward the construction of modern economies in Africa. Based largely on his personal empirical research, this lasting work continues to guide the quest for realistic approaches to the problem of poverty in Africa and other agrarian regions of the world.”—Richard L. Sklar, author of African Politics in Postimperial TimesRobert H. Bates is Eaton Professor of the Science of Government at Harvard University. His other books include Analytic Narratives with Avner Greif, Margaret Levi, Jean-Laurent Rosenthal, and Barry Weingast (1999); Prosperity and Violence (2001); and When Things Fell Apart (2007).