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Crafting regional cooperation in Africa

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Abstract

Numerous attempts at creating formal regional organizations have failed in Africa, leaving a veritable organizational junkyard of unsuccessful attempts to reduce the continent's balkanization. The assumption has therefore been that regional cooperation has failed, and will continue to do so, in Africa because the domestic and regional environments are so different from Europe, which has the highest density of successful regional experiments. In fact, while the failures in crafting regional organizations have been numerous, there have also been occasional examples of dramatic success. In particular, the Organization of African Unity managed to establish an improbable continental norm that boundaries should not be altered and large parts of Africa had a common currency decades before the euro. More generally, African states continue to devote enormous amounts of time and energy to creating continental, regional, and bilateral treaties, organizations, and forums, suggesting by their revealed preferences that they do not believe that pursuing regional cooperation is fruitless. In fact, regional cooperation is largely initiated and designed in Africa to promote the security and interests of rulers, rather than the more generally assumed goals of increasing the size of economic markets, ensuring the rights of citizens, or overcoming capricious national boundaries. The key to understanding the fate of regional cooperation in Africa is to discard the assumption that there is an inevitable conflict between sovereignty (or, more precisely, the prerogatives of individual leaders) and regional cooperation.

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Chapter
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Article
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Article
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Article
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Article
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Article
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... This article attempts to map the outlines of private regulatory authority exercised by large indigenous cross-border multinational banks and the impact of this private regulation on regional integration effectiveness in Africa, especially in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). For decades, economic integration in the region was a straightforward exclusive preserve of state-centric processes (Oyejide, Elbadawi, and Collier 1997;Ojo 1999;Mystry 2000;Herbst 2007). In the past two decades, those processes have been complicated by nonstate actors who, independently or in collaboration with states, are revitalizing and ⁄ or fostering new forms of regionalism that do not necessarily conform to notions about ''model'' regional integration arrangements (Marchand, Bóas, and Shaw 1999;Shaw 2000;Callaghy, Kassimir, and Latham 2001;Neubert 2009). ...
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... to this volume on Latin America and Africa confirm that democratic regimes are more likely to commit to regional institutions (Chapters 8 and 11, this volume), particularly if they allow to lock-in domestic reforms consolidating and promoting democracy (Pevehouse 2005, Ribeiro Hoffmann and van der Vleuten 2007). Like their European counterparts, African, Latin American, Arab and Asian leaders have supported regionalism as a source of domestic power, not only with regard to safeguarding democratic reforms (Barnett and Solingen 2007, Herbst 2007, Morales 2002, Nesadurai 2008, Okolo 1985. ...
... Political regionalism, rather than imposing constraints on national autonomy, may actually serve to enhance the international role of individual states and thereby contribute to the enhancement of sovereignty. 10 Where regional collaboration rests on a strong underlying political motivation, it may be sustained despite lack of effective economic collaboration, as was arguably the case in the Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC) in the apartheid era. 11 At the other end of the state autonomy curve is functional regionalism, which means interstate collaboration on specific issues-areas such as river basins, transportation links, or meteorology. ...
Chapter
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All forms of regionalism inevitably impose some constraints on state autonomy. The extent to which regionalism intrudes on state sovereignty varies substantially, however, according to the form that it takes. We can envisage this relationship as a “Regionalism and State Autonomy ‘Smile’ Curve”. At one end of the curve is “Political regionalism”, which, rather than imposing constraints on national autonomy, may actually serve to enhance the international role of individual states and thereby contribute to the enhancement of sovereignty. At the other end of the state autonomy curve is functional regionalism, which means interstate collaboration on specific issues– areas such as river basins, transportation links, or meteorology. Although functional cooperation inevitably imposes some constraints on the autonomy of national decision-making, these are generally fairly narrow and can be predicted and largely controlled in advance. In contrast to these two forms of regionalism that impose few constraints on state autonomy are various forms of economic regionalism – collaborative action by states to remove barriers to the flow of goods and services, migration and capital. In contrast to the gradualism of Southeast Asian states in slowly ascending the hierarchy of regional economic collaboration, African leaders have made things especially challenging for themselves by choosing forms of regionalism that impose high levels of constraint on policy autonomy and yet, in the absence of favourable background conditions, forms that are unlikely to generate commensurate gains from regional cooperation.
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This article reviews and analyzes recent research on regional integration. The review is structured along a political economy framework and proceeds in three steps. After analyzing the development of regional integration agreements (RIAs) from a historical perspective, I first discuss regional integration as a consequence of the decision-making calculus of office-motivated political leaders who find themselves under pressure from different societal groups interested in promoting or hindering regional integration. These pressures are conveyed, constrained, and calibrated by domestic institutions, which provide an important context for policy making, and in particular for the choice to enter RIAs. The analysis also highlights the importance of international pressures for regional integration. Second I summarize the determinants and consequences of variations in regional institutional design. Third, I analyze the normative and strategic consequences of regional integration. The article concludes by outlining opportunities for future research, with emphasis on the domestic politics of regional integration, the causes and consequences of institutional design beyond trade agreements, and the consequences of the increasing number of often overlapping regional agreements. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Political Science Volume 20 is May 11, 2017. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.
... Under the auspices of the OAU, strict adherence to the UN determining principle of non-interference in internal matters of member states implied the scrupulous endorsement of national boundaries bequeathed by colonialism. As a result, African leaders would rush to ratify international treaties which only guaranteed the sovereignty of the state such as the UN and its sister agencies but remain less enthusiastic about genuine cooperation at the regional level (Herbst, 2007). In such a context of mistrust, border rivalries and controls were more damaging to the movement of peoples and goods as long as individual states held on to the hub-and-spoke relationship which once characterised the colonies and their respective metropoles (Adedeji, 2002: 300). ...
Article
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... Staatliche Regierungen versuchen, durch die gemeinsame Ausübung oder die Übertragung von Hoheitsrechten Handlungsspielräume zurückzugewinnen, die ihnen durch die zunehmende Entgrenzung von Politik (Kohler-Koch 1998) entzogen wurden (Milward 1992;Wolf 2000). Illiberale Regime in Afrika, Lateinamerika, Asien oder der arabischen Welt haben die Bildung regionaler Institutionen unterstützt, um ihre innerstaatliche Macht und ihre nationale Souveränität zu sichern (Herbst 2007;Okolo 1985;Nesadurai 2008;Barnett und Solingen 2007;Morales 2002). Dieser "regime-boosting regionalism" (Söderbaum 2004) kann durch verschiedene Faktoren angetrieben sein, die auf liberale und illiberale Regime gleichermaßen Anwendung finden. ...
Article
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This contribution explores the "comparative turn" in research on regionalism which emerged at the intersection of International Relations and area studies. Seeking to capture the rise of regionalism after the end of the Cold War, studies have increasingly engaged in comparisons of region-building in different parts of the world. Such inter-regional comparisons have revealed institutional similarities and convergence. We argue that theories of international cooperation and regional integration identify important drivers of regionalism in Europe and beyond; diffusion theories, however, are more adequate to account for institutional similarities and differences among regions. Nevertheless, we conclude with a plea not to pitch theories of diffusion, international cooperation and regional integration against each other but to view them as complementary approaches to comparative regionalism.
... The political rationale also applies in regions that lack economic interdependence as a major driver for integration. African, Latin American, Arab and Asian leaders have supported integration as a source of domestic power and consolidation of national sovereignty (Herbst 2007;Okolo 1985;Nesadurai 2008;Barnett/Solingen 2007;Morales 2002). Weak states, in particular, should be more inclined to engage in "regimeboosting integration" (Söderbaum, 2004) because they are more dependent on economic growth to forge domestic stability, tackle societal problems, and strengthen their international standing in terms of bargaining power and legitimacy (Aschhoff, 2012). ...
Article
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... African regionalism hasgenerally speakingnot lived up to its expectations, and it is generally understood that the levels of de facto intra-regional exchanges are below their potential. Explanations for this "underperformance" include the continued dominance of north-south trade patterns, political instability and policy discontinuity, weak implementation record of regional policies (in turn related to weaknesses in national government and governance), inadequacies of investment in the regional integration hardware (infrastructure) and dysfunctional patterns of trans-state regionalization (Bach, 1999;Clapham et al., 2001;Schiff and Winters, 2003;van Ginkel et al., 2003;te Velde, 2006;Van Langenhove and De Lombaerde, 2007;Herbst, 2007;Fanta et al., 2013;GIZ, 2014;de Melo and Tsikata, 2014). ...
Article
Purpose African regional integration and market-building processes have not lived up to their expectations in terms of the development of intra-regional international business and the contribution to reaching broader socioeconomic development goals. The purpose of this paper is to critically reflect on the indicator-based monitoring tools that have been designed and used to assess these processes. Design/methodology/approach The assessment is based on a comparative analysis of all relevant cases for which information is publicly available. Complementary expert opinion has also been taken into account. Findings This study finds that there is room for improvement of the existing monitoring systems, both with respect to their governance and technical aspects, so that they can have more impact on the respective integration processes and can better guide the business strategies. Originality/value This is the first systematic comparative assessment of indicator-based monitoring systems for African regional integration.
... Defensive considerations also informed the decision by South East Asian countries to launch several post-Cold War regional initiatives, such as the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) in 1992 and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in 1994 (Foot 1995;Khong and Nesadurai 2007). In Africa, in turn, the Southern African Development Coordinating Conference (SADCC, now the South African Development Community or SADC) was created in the 1970s with the express purpose of countering the influence of the apartheid government of South Africa in the region (Herbst 2007;Qobo 2008). 12 In other cases, external powers have deliberately constructed and/or promoted regional and bilateral initiatives for strategic reasons, as the United States did in Western Europe and East Asia during the Cold War. ...
... However, they easily link up to various theoretical discussions. The value of regime boosting effects of regional organizations in the developing world is well documented by Herbst (2007) and Söderbaum (2013: 13). The strong emphasis on sovereign independence is rooted in the de-colonial tradition which BRICS countries are following. ...
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Just after a decade of its existence, the BRICS group and the rising powers narrative have lost some of their appeal. The economic growth story has stalled, and domestic political challenges curb the group’s foreign policy potency. In the context of the presumed decline of relevance, the article asks what foreign policy value is BRICS providing for its members? An inner-group perspective is applied. The article argues that BRICS is offering a number of benefits. Namely: indirectly supporting domestic regime stability, protection from unwanted external interferences, flexible alignment in foreign policies and boosting of regional authority. The article goes through the rhetorical codification of BRICS summit documents, traces the uncodified principles of cooperation among its members and illustrates its argument with selected empirical examples. Far from being in decline, BRICS delivers important value added for the group which often goes missing in the literature on regional powers.
... Unlike neofunctionalist reasoning, the political rationale also applies in regions that lack economic interdependence as a major driver for regionalism. African, Latin American, Arab and Asian leaders have supported regionalism as a source of domestic power and consolidation of national sovereignty (Herbst 2007; Okolo 1985; Nesadurai 2008; Barnett/Solingen 2007; Morales 2002). Weak states, in particular, should be more inclined to engage in " regime-boosting Comparative Regionalism | 19 regionalism " (Söderbaum 2004) because they are more dependent on economic growth to forge domestic stability, tackle societal problems, and strengthen their international standing in terms of bargaining power and legitimacy (Aschhoff 2012). ...
Article
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After the end of the Cold War, students of International Relations observed an expansion of inter-state activities at the regional level. Regional and sub-regional groupings appeared to gain momentum as the way in which countries cooperate and should cooperate to pursue peace, stability, wealth and social justice. The surge and resurgence of regionalism has triggered the proliferation of concepts and approaches. The focus of this paper will be on processes and structures of state-led regionalism driven by the delegation of policies and political authority to regional institutions. Based on this understanding of regionalism, the existing literature will be reviewed with regard to three general questions. These questions do not only require research across regions but also allow developing a common research agenda to accumulate knowledge generated about specific regions. First, what are the outcomes of regionalism? How can we describe and compare the results of the delegation of policies and political authority? Second, what are the drivers of regionalism? Why do some governments choose to delegate policies and political authority while others do not? Finally, what are the internal effects of regionalism? How does the delegation of policies and political authority impact back on the domestic structures of the states involved?
... The political rationale also applies in regions that lack economic interdependence as a major driver for integration. African, Latin American, Arab and Asian leaders have supported integration as a source of domestic power and consolidation of national sovereignty (Herbst 2007;Okolo 1985;Nesadurai 2008;Barnett/Solingen 2007;Morales 2002). Weak states, in particular, should be more inclined to engage in "regimeboosting integration" (Söderbaum, 2004) because they are more dependent on economic growth to forge domestic stability, tackle societal problems, and strengthen their international standing in terms of bargaining power and legitimacy (Aschhoff, 2012). ...
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The paper is specifically focused on the assessment of the level performance and the areas of cooperation in the East Africa with specific emphasis on the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and to seek ways for more fruitful relationship among the member state for the betterment of all the members of the union and to see if it is possible to widen the scope of operation. Secondary sources of data collection were used and contextually analyzed and neo-functionalist theory was adopted as the tool of analysis. The findings of the paper are: all the members of IGAD belong to more than one regional group; there is Infrastructural deficit; many of the potentials are not well utilized; Inadequate capacity and resources among countries of the IGAD; Conflicting attitude towards regional integration; The countries in the region have similar resources which account for lack of comparative advantage; Insecurity and political instability; Water Scarcity and Management of Shared Water Resources. This research sought to provide answers to the following questions: for what purpose was IGAD establish? How has the IGAD carried out its set objectives? How can the organization improve on its strategies and scope of operations, membership, and achievement? What are the internal effects of regional integration? Lastly the study arrived at the following recommendations: Member states should be persuaded to ensure that they do not belong to too many regional groups; Effort should be made towards improving on the region's weak transport infrastructure; Countries in the region should be encouraged to adopt energy policies and established regulatory frameworks to liberalize the power sector; That it should pursue an aggressive capacity building and mobilization of resources among countries of the IGAD; That effort should be increased to relate well with the close neighbours that could allow them channel water from the region to the landlocked areas; The IGAD should Intensify Collaborative efforts leading to compromise and ultimate resolution of conflicts that will strengthen regional integration process; and The organization should ensure that countries that are conflicting over similar resources are helped to identify complementary areas of activities based on their comparative advantage and diversify them accordingly.
... 6 Comparative politics literature mostly focused on the efforts of autocratic powers such as China, Russia, and Venezuela in intentionally shaping and sustaining autocracy in their immediate neighborhood 7 with ROs as one possible instrument of influence. 8 Beyond ROs as a tool of powerful states, regionalism scholars have investigated how ROs have been employed to boost legitimation through "shadow election monitoring" 9 or regional identity discourses, 10 to boost rent-seeking capacities, 11 for purposes of cross-border policing and intelligence-sharing, 12 or to deal with negative externalities through international signalling. 13 While previous literature has made important contributions to understand the regional dimension of authoritarian resilience, it often fails to clearly connect regional dynamics and domestic politics to theorize and empirically test how RO membership can actually increase the likelihood of incumbent survival. ...
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The international dimension of authoritarian resilience is receiving increased attention by scholars of comparative politics and international relations alike. Research suggests that autocratic states exploit regionalism to boost domestic regime security. This article explains how membership in regional organizations can help to strengthen survival chances of autocratic incumbent elites. It argues that membership provides additional material, informational, and ideational resources to autocratic incumbents that can be used to boost domestic survival strategies vis-à-vis internal and external challengers. The article provides qualitative case-based evidence to show how autocratic incumbents in Zimbabwe, China, and Bahrain have benefited from the involvement of regional organizations during moments of political instability to strengthen legitimation, repression, co-optation, and international appeasement strategies. The article thereby provides the first encompassing explanation linking regionalism and authoritarian survival politics that is applicable across regions and different types of authoritarian regimes.
... Some leaders show demonstrative support and loyalty towards one another in order to raise the status, image and formal sovereignty of their often-authoritarian regimes, both domestically and internationally (Bøas et al. 2005). Jeffrey Herbst also agrees with this claim but adds that this misplaced enthusiasm of African leaders should not be interpreted as a failure because even they can do some positive things while trying to boost their image (Herbst 2007). Thirdly, William Reno introduces another concept called "shadow regionalism." ...
...  Intergovernmentalist approaches see national sovereignty as an exogenous value that factors into the cost-benefit analysis of state actors (Kahler, 2000;Moravcsik, 2000). However, it remains unclear how states calculate the 'sovereignty costs' of cooperation and how they weigh them against cooperation benefits, as researchers usually infer them as 'revealed preferences' -i.e. by observing state behavior after the fact (Herbst, 2007) -instead of analyzing them inductively. While the regime boosting literature rejects the conventional assumption that any cooperation amounts to sovereignty costs for governments, it has an equally hard time establishing how exactly state actors arrive at the conclusion that cooperation is beneficial rather than detrimental to their national sovereignty. ...
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This paper takes its departure in the fact that national sovereignty understandings are crucial for explaining why states chose to cooperate on a regional basis. While there is a rich literature on the nexus between national sovereignty and transboundary cooperation in the field of Comparative Regionalism, it fails to account for the empirical variation of different forms of regional cooperation across policy fields and regions. This failure arises, we argue, because scholars are too narrowly concerned with 'instrumental' notions of national sovereignty. To systematically explore how different sovereignty understandings affect states' propensity to engage in different forms of regional cooperation, we conceptualize national sovereignty understandings as social constructs that carry different ideas about how transboundary cooperation relates to the purpose of the state. Not only instrumental but also principled and status-oriented national sovereignty understandings shape policy-makers preferences for regional cooperation in different policy fields. Depending on which combination of national sovereignty understandings become dominant in a region, six ideal-types forms of regionalism may result. The paper illustrates each ideal-type with an empirical cooperation initiative, and proposes a research agenda to explore the role of national sovereignty understandings in regionalisms around the world.
... • Intergovernmentalist approaches see national sovereignty as an exogenous value that factors into the cost-benefit analysis of state actors (Kahler, 2000;Moravcsik, 2000). However, it remains unclear how states calculate the 'sovereignty costs' of cooperation and how they weigh them against cooperation benefits, as researchers usually infer them as 'revealed preferences' -i.e. by observing state behavior after the fact (Herbst, 2007) -instead of analyzing them inductively. While the regime boosting literature rejects the conventional assumption that any cooperation amounts to sovereignty costs for governments, it has an equally hard time establishing how exactly state actors arrive at the conclusion that cooperation is beneficial rather than detrimental to their national sovereignty. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
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... Staatliche Regierungen versuchen, durch die gemeinsame Ausübung oder die Übertragung von Hoheitsrechten Handlungsspielräume zurückzugewinnen, die ihnen durch die zunehmende Entgrenzung von Politik (Kohler-Koch 1998) entzogen wurden (Milward 1992;Wolf 2000). Illiberale Regime in Afrika, Lateinamerika, Asien oder der arabischen Welt haben die Bildung regionaler Institutionen unterstützt, um ihre innerstaatliche Macht und ihre nationale Souveränität zu sichern (Herbst 2007;Okolo 1985;Nesadurai 2008;Barnett und Solingen 2007;Morales 2002). Dieser "regime-boosting regionalism" (Söderbaum 2004) kann durch verschiedene Faktoren angetrieben sein, die auf liberale und illiberale Regime gleichermaßen Anwendung finden. ...
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China has followed a strategy of largely self-financed (i.e. export-led and thus largely free from foreign aid transfers) development and consumption gradually turning into one of the so-called emerging markets. Its expansion into Africa is a direct follow-up of this development strategy. The European Union (EU) and its member states share a long tradition of cooperation and fostering of socio-economic growth and development in Africa. Having recognized the potential related to China’s involvement in Africa for the continent’s prospects of catching-up with the world economy, on several occasions, the European Commission and the Council of the EU reiterated the need to coordinate the EU and Chinese efforts in Africa. Nevertheless the 2008 Commission’s proposal for a trilateral dialogue and cooperation between the EU, China and Africa , has been received with a lukewarm interest of both China and Africa signalling fundamental differences in approaches to Africa’s growth and development that the EU, China, and to a lesser extent Africa, stand for. The EU, the ‘normative power’, is committed, frequently to no avail, to the promotion of specific values and principles, and thus views the rule of law, democracy, and good governance as preconditions of sustained growth and development. China accentuates its dedication to business remaining rather relaxed towards the question of norms and principles. Can these approaches be reconciled? Can China and the EU act as partners for the future of Africa? To answer these questions, the concept of normative power will be reconsidered and the possibility of its application for the examination of China’s stance towards Africa will be addressed. An alternative theoretical framing will be suggested. From this perspective, the EU and Chinese approaches to Africa’s growth and development will be discussed. As the issue at stake is Africa’s future, in the following part the prospect of reconciling these approaches will be dealt with.
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Afrika in seiner Gesamtheit zerfällt in fünf Teile. Mit leichtem Augenzwinkern leihe ich mir den Kapitelanfang von einem Klassiker imperialistischer Geschichtsschreibung. Das ist insofern angemessen, als die Unterscheidung dieser fünf Teile: Nord-, West-, Zentral-, Ost- und Süd-Afrika nicht nur geografische Fakten widerspiegelt, sondern auch die koloniale Geschichte des Kontinents. Zu den geografischen Fakten gehört die trennende Rolle, welche von der Wüste Sahara ausgeht – ungeachtet der Tatsache, dass sie über Karawanentransporte auch ein Jahrhunderte alter Verbindungsraum ist (Austen 2010).
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Book
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While scholars have argued that membership in Regional Organizations (ROs) can increase the likelihood of democratization, we see many autocratic regimes surviving in power albeit being members of several ROs. This article argues that this is the case because these regimes are often members in “Clubs of Autocrats” that supply material and ideational resources to strengthen domestic survival politics and shield members from external interference during moments of political turmoil. The argument is supported by survival analysis testing the effect of membership in autocratic ROs on regime survival between 1946 to 2010. It finds that membership in ROs composed of more autocratic member states does in fact raise the likelihood of regime survival by protecting incumbents against democratic challenges such as civil unrest or political dissent. However, autocratic RO membership does not help to prevent regime breakdown due to autocratic challenges like military coups, potentially because these types of threats are less likely to diffuse to other member states. The article thereby adds to our understanding of the limits of democratization and potential reverse effects of international cooperation, and contributes to the literature addressing interdependences of international and domestic politics in autocratic regimes.
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Mali's attempts to re-enter the West African Monetary Union illustrate how political factors can frustrate economic ends; the regime had no viable alternative but to rejoin but there were the inevitable pulls between a desire for greater autonomy as well as the need to maintain important links with the colonizing power.- from Author
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This paper examines the economic performance of the CFA franc zone versus non-CFA countries in recent years. A modified control-group approach is used to compare the evolution of macro-economic indicators in the CFA countries vis-à-vis other sub-Saharan African countries, controlling for initial conditions, changing exogenous internal and world environment, and policy stance. In addition, our approach allows for a formal testing of whether zone membership is a random. The implication of randomness (i.e., no selection bias) is that the CFA zone economies would have performed in the same fashion as the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, for example, in the absence of the zone. Our results show that the randomness assumption is only valid for the cases of GDP growth and inflation. For other indicators (savings, investment, and export ratios to GDP) the decision to participate in the zone is endogenous and is related to the expectation of improved economic performance. Subsequently, in the estimation of the zone's effects on the latter group of indicators, we corrected for the ensuing “sample selectivity” bias by estimating that status indicator (participation versus non-participation) via a probit model.Our estimation results indicate a weakening competitive position of the CFA members, during the second half of 1980s relative to the first half, compared with the non-CFA countries, in terms of output growth as well as the performance of exports, investment, and savings. The exception is domestic inflation with the CFA countries faring better on that front. Results for a longer term comparison (the 1970s versus the 1980s) are somewhat mixed. While the estimated coefficients for the marginal effect of zone participation corroborates a better performance for the CFA zone over the group of comparators — in terms of exports, domestic savings and investment, and inflation — the zone failed to distinguish itself with regard to economic growth in the long run.