Strengthening Regionalism

The role of the state in Southern Africa
28 October 2010
Paper

Amongst many other analyses and debates, the more extensive awareness of the active role of the state and of states in the purportedly highly successful 'market economies' in East Asia and South East Asia is bringing discussion of the role of state back into quite mainstream development discourse.

After years of deliberate ideological discrediting of the role of the state in development, and the active dismantling of the state in Africa, even the World Bank is gradually coming around to the recognition of the necessary role of the state; on their argument that this is essential under conditions of underdevelopment and – as yet -weak market forces in most Africa countries. The belated awakening of the World Bank, and its own interpretation as to what 'the role of the state' should be, actually deepen the challenges to independent critical analysts as to their own approaches to the revival of discussions on "the need for a developmental state in Africa" and the long-overdue need to "re-discuss the developmental paradigm of the 1960s and 1970s.