Governance and the political entrepreneur
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Alex de Waal’s 2015-book is, among other things, a fascinating demonstration of the power of the tools of economic analysis, if applied skilfully to context. de Waal is considered one of the foremost experts on Sudan and the Horn of Africa. Acquainted with many leaders in the region personally, his scholarship and practice have probed conflict, peacebuilding and governance in Africa.
Political economy is the study of policy-making through the ‘lenses’ of economics. This perspective, which applies maximising and opportunistic pursuit of self-interest to policy-makers, has yielded interesting insights into the (in)ability of the political-administrative system to achieve optimal solutions to societal problems.
However, political economy has so far fallen short of explaining were policy-makers come from. Related, it has also found it difficult to locate the motivators of policy-makers. Models of Western democracy posit that politicians maximise votes (or more specifically: Re-election...
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