States and statelessness in late twentieth-century Africa

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38 Scopus citations


While private trade often flourishes in parallel markets, contract enforcement through courts is unreliable, making investment in fixed assets prohibitively risky. Parallel political authorities - warlords, kingdoms, new religious groups - often make stronger claims on obedience than do nation-states and compete with nation-states as centers of revenue collection and regulation. Pervasive personal insecurity, a result of the spread of cheap and therefore "democratic' weaponry such as grenades, AK-47s, and land mines, undermines norms that support savings, maintenance, and investment. A possible strategy to improve government and build state capacity is discussed. -after Author

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-153
Number of pages25
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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