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Business and the state in Malawi:the politics of institutional formation, maintenance and change

Chingaipe Ng'oma, Henry (2010) Business and the state in Malawi:the politics of institutional formation, maintenance and change. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

This dissertation analyses the institutional and organisational evolution of state-business relations in Malawi, from the colonial period (1891-1963) to the first decade of multiparty democracy (1994-2004), through the period of one-party authoritarianism (1964-1993). It contributes to three areas of political science. Firstly, it adds to empirical knowledge on the politics of state formation and state-building by illuminating how institutions governing state-business relations have been central to the evolution, form and character of the Malawian state. It provides some insights for building the capacity of states, especially in southern Africa, to deliver coherent and credible economic policies. Secondly, it demonstrates how the distribution and exercise of power between state and business elites, and the relative financial and political importance of the private business sector to the state, shape the institutional and organisational forms of state-business relations. It shows that these relations are profoundly political rather than technocratic products and reformers need to be more aware of this. Thirdly, it contributes to historical institutionalism by suggesting that the concept of critical junctures should be defined based on people’s expectations for, rather than effects of, institutional change; that history should be emphasised not just for explaining institutional continuities as is done by most historical institutionalists but also institutional discontinuities; and that in explaining existing patterns of institutions researchers need to be concerned more with the most recent predecessor institutions rather than going too far in the past. The analysis is organised in seven chapters, grouped into three parts. The first part presents the research problem, reviews the literature and outlines the methodological approach. The second part provides empirical narratives of state-business relations in each of the three periods. The third part spells out the implications of the work for the understanding of the politics of Malawian state-business relations, for state-business relations generally and historical institutionalism.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Malawi,state-business relations, politics, institutions
Academic Units: The University of York > Politics (York)
Depositing User: Mr. Henry Chingaipe Ng'oma
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2011 15:51
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 08:46
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1507

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