Topic 7: Institutional approach of the development

Coordonned by the Prof  OLUKOSHI Adebayo

Institutional Frames and Regime Types in West African Development

Terms of Reference for a Commissioned Paper

Historically, development has always occurred within defined political and institutional contexts. The debate that has taken place in recent years has centred on the ideal political regimes and institutional frameworks best suited for the achievement of development. Much of this debate has been informed by ex post facto readings and re-readings of the historical experiences of the countries that are presently categorized as developed. Out of such readings and re-readings, attempts have been made to propose patterms and even correlations between regimes, institutions and policies and particular development outcomes. But as can be expected, there is no firm consensus that has emerged from the debates as to which regime types, state forms, policy combinations, and institutional frames are ideal to help late developers such as those represented by the countries of West Africa to achieve accelerated and sustained economic development and social progress. If anything, opinion continues to be polarized between those who, on the one hand, see a more or less tight correlation between political regimes, state forms societal systems and institutions (whether authoritarian or democratic) and those who insist, on the other hand, that the historical evidence is either agnostic or simply too inconsistent and variable to support any meaningful prescription of an ideal or rigid model.

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