The Politics and Challenge of Institutional Transformation in Sub-Saharan Africa
This paper draws insights from theories of institutional change to analyze the interface between indigenous and contemporary socio-political institutions of governance in Sub-Saharan Africa. It shows that, although critical junctures are assumed to be path-departing moments, they can
result in fundamental divisions in overall institutional structures by grafting new institutions onto existing ones while at the same time re-enforcing the reproduction of existing institutional logics. 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 democratizations have reenforced. 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 efficiencies, and combining existing elements within the overall institutional repertoire in a process of change within and beyond path dependence.
KEY WORDS: Governance, Socio-Political Institutions, Institutional Transformation, Political Theories
© 2018 The authors.
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