books of the month
Search our site
Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber Read the opening extract of the brand new Kathleen Barber book before its publication on 27/12/2017

Business and the State in Africa Economic Policy-Making in the Neo-Liberal Era by Antoinette Handley

Business and the State in Africa Economic Policy-Making in the Neo-Liberal Era


Business and the State in Africa Economic Policy-Making in the Neo-Liberal Era by Antoinette Handley

The dominant developmental approach in Africa over the last twenty years has been to advocate the role of markets and the private sector in restoring economic growth. Recent thinking has also stressed the need for 'ownership' of economic reform by the populations of developing countries, particularly the business community. This book studies the business-government interactions of four African countries: Ghana, Zambia, South Africa and Mauritius. Employing a historical institutionalist approach, Antoinette Handley considers why and how business in South Africa and Mauritius has developed the capacity to constructively contest the making of economic policy while, conversely, business in Zambia and Ghana has struggled to develop any autonomous political capacity. Paying close attention to the mutually constitutive interactions between business and the state, Handley considers the role of timing and how ethnicised and racialised identities can affect these interactions in profound and consequential ways.


'A very serious and illuminating piece of scholarship about a strangely ignored topic in Africa. Handley has a clear and compelling theoretical argument that is nicely grounded in the cross-regional literature about state-business relationships and development. Her four country case studies on Ghana, Zambia, Mauritius, and South Africa are well done and based on real on-the-ground research - rare these days and certainly for this topic and place. At the same time, these fine empirical chapters always keep the historical context clearly in focus. Given the efforts at reforming African economies since the 1980s, this topic is absolutely central to any discussion of Africa's future. A fine book that really plugs Africa into the ongoing cross-regional debates about development.'
Thomas M. Callaghy, University of Pennsylvania

About the Author

Antoinette Handley is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto. Her research interests include policy-making and economic reform in developing countries, business-government relations, and HIV/AIDS and the political economies of Africa. She has published articles in the Journal of Modern African Studies, Current History and the Canadian Journal of African Studies.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

26th June 2008


Antoinette Handley

More books by Antoinette Handley
Author 'Like for Like'


Cambridge University Press


304 pages


Comparative politics
Political economy



If you love reading, then you'll love Lovereading! Full of tips & info for every discerning reader.

Lynne Rapson

My horizons have been broadened by some of the books I have been lucky to review and I expect it to be no different in the future.

Daran Bellingham

The books for review are always great reads, brilliantly written, and introduces me to a huge variety of, established and new, authors.

Lesley Hart

I love Lovereading because of its ability to connect people that love books & unite them in a friendly, stimulating & interesting community.

Megan Olwen William

Lovereading - a community of people passionate about reading and sharing their views. An incomparable website for book lovers.

Helen Clark

I love Lovereading because I get to read great books and then get to tell everybody how good they are.

Sally Doel

At Lovereading there are fabulous books available in every genre, with great reviews to help you pick the right book for you.

Teresa O'Halloran

I love reading books I wouldn't normally choose before everyone else gets to read them!

Dawn Lynch