Democratisation and the political incentives for agricultural policy in Africa

Poulton, C. (2014) Democratisation and the political incentives for agricultural policy in Africa. Development Policy Review, 32(S2). s101-s122.

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In theory, democratisation, which has proceeded unevenly across Africa during the past two decades, should encourage pro-poor agricultural policy, as the majority of voters in many countries remain rural and poor. This article draws on case studies of recent policy change in six African countries, plus a review of the literature on political competition and voting behaviour, to explore the evolving role of competitive electoral politics in agricultural policy-making. It finds that democratic pressures for pro-poor agricultural policy remain weak, which may help explain the limited delivery thus far on commitments to the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). However, exogenous factors – most strikingly, sustained threats to regime survival – can create positive incentives for agricultural investment. The implications for participants in agricultural policy processes are explored.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Democratisation, incentives, agricultural policy, Africa, CAADP, threats
Author Affiliation: Centre for Development, Environment and Policy, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
Subjects: Social Sciences
Divisions: General
Depositing User: Mr T L Gautham
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2016 10:40
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2016 10:40

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