The Economics of Decolonisation

Institutions, Education and Elite Formation

in Theoria
View More View Less
  • 1 University of Pretoria
Restricted access

Abstract

Modern economic growth theory gives a central role to ‘institutions’ in understanding the ability of an economy to break development constraints. This article briefly reviews a growing economic literature that focuses on African economic history in order to identify the linkages between institutional development and economic growth. Because present-day African institutions are often direct descendants of the colonial experience, colonial economic and political institutions have been the main focus of this literature. This article instead proposes to analyse closely the role that the colonial education had in the process of decolonisation and in African postcolonial history. Because of the importance of education in the process of economic development, an education system aimed mainly at co-opting an elite in the ways of the coloniser might be a significant obstacle in generating innovation and creativity necessary for the process of economic development.

Contributor Notes

Nicola Viegi is the South African Reserve Bank Chair in Monetary Economics at the University of Pretoria. A graduate from the Scottish Doctoral Programme in Economics, he has held positions at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and at the University of Cape Town. His main areas of research are economic policy theory, macroeconomic modelling and economic growth.

Theoria

A Journal of Social and Political Theory

  • Acemoglu, D., S. Johnson and A. Robinson. 2001. ‘The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation’, The American Economic Review 91(5): 13691401.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Acemoglu, D. and J. Robinson. 2012. Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty. New York: Crown Business.

  • Agbor, J. A., J. W. Fedderke and N. Viegi. 2014. ‘How Colonial Educational Practices Helped Shape the Pattern of Decolonisation in West Africa’, International Journal of Development and Conflict 4: 123.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Barro, R. J. 1991. ‘Economic Growth in a Cross-section of Countries’, Quarterly Journal of Economics 106(2): 40743.

  • Barro, R. J. 1996. ‘Democracy and Growth’, Journal of Economic Growth 1(1): 127.

  • Barro, R. J. and J. W. Lee. 2013. ‘A New Dataset of Educational Attainment in the World, 1950–2010’, Journal of Development Economics 104: 18498.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Belloc, M. and S. Bowles. 2013. ‘The Persistence of Inferior Cultural-institutional Conventions’, The American Economic Review 103(3): 938.

  • Bolton, G. C. 1973. Britain’s Legacy Overseas. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Buchanan, J. M. 1968. The Demand and Supply of Public Goods. Chicago: Rand McNally.

  • Chafer, T. 2002. The End of Empire in French West Africa: France’s Successful Decolonisation? Oxford: Berg.

  • Cohen, W. B. 1971. Rulers of Empire: The French Colonial Service in Africa. Stanford: Hoover Institution Press.

  • DiCaprio, A,2012. “Introduction” in Amsden AH, DiCaprio A, Robinson JA. The Role of Elites in Economic Development. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dupraz, Y. 2015. ‘French and British Colonial Legacies in Education: A Natural Experiment in Cameroon’, Paris: Paris School of Economics

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Foster, J. P. 1965. Education and Social Change in Ghana. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

  • Freire, P. 1970. The Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York, The Continuum Publishing Company.

  • Fuller, B. and P. Romer. 2012. ‘Success and the City: How Charter Cities Could Transform the Developing World’, Macdonald-Laurier Institute Publication.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gifford, P. and W. R. Louis (eds). 1971. France and Britain in Africa: Imperial Rivalry and Colonial Rule. New Haven: Yale University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gifford, P. and T. Weiskel. 1971. ‘African Education in a Colonial Context: French and British Styles’, in P. Gifford and W. R. Louis (eds), France and Britain in Africa: Imperial Rivalry and Colonial Rule. New Haven: Yale University Press, 663711.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Glaeser, E. L., R. La Porta, F. Lopez-de-Silanes and A. Shleifer. 2004. ‘Do Institutions Cause Growth?Journal of Economic Growth 9(3): 271303.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gramsci, A. 1950. Quaderni del Carcere. Roma: Editori Riuniti.

  • Keswell, M. 2010. ‘Education and Racial Inequality in Post-Apartheid South Africa’, in P. Attewell and K. S. Newman (eds), Growing Gaps: Education Inequality Around the World. London: Oxford University Press, 82-104.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mazrui, A. A. and M. Tidy. 1984. Nationalism and New States in Africa. Nairobi: East Africa Educational Publishers.

  • McGowan, P. J. 2003. ‘African Military Coups d’État, 1956–2001: Frequency, Trends and Distribution’, The Journal of Modern African Studies 41(3): 33970.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McWilliam, H. O. A. and M. A. Kwamena-Poh. 1978. The Development of Education in Ghana: An Outline. London: Longman Group.

  • Memmi, A. 1965. The Colonizer and the Colonized. Boston: Beacon Press.

  • Meredith, M. 2005. The Fate of Africa: A History of 50 Years of Independence. New York: Public Affairs.

  • Mitchell, B. R. 1998. International Historical Statistics: Africa, Asia and Oceania, 1750–1993, 3rd ed. London: Macmillan Reference.

  • Moumouni, A. 1968. Education in Africa. New York: Deutsch.

  • North, D. 1990. Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Nunn, N. 2007. ‘Historical Legacies: A Model Linking Africa’s Past to Its Current Underdevelopment’, Journal of Development Economics 83: 15775.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nunn, N. 2008. ‘The Long-term Effects of Africa’s Slave Trades’, The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 123, 13976.

  • Nwonwu, F and D. Kotze. 2008. African Political Elites: The Search for Democracy and Good Governance. Oxford: African Books Collective.

  • Nyamnjoh, F. B. 2012. ‘“Potted Plants in Greenhouses”: A Critical Reflection on the Resilience of Colonial Education in Africa’, Journal of Asian and African Studies, 0, 1-26.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Said, E. 1993. Culture and Imperialism. New York: First Vintage Book.

  • Suret-Canale, J. 1971. French Colonialism in Tropical Africa, 1900–1945. New York: Pica Press, Universe Books.

  • Wallerstein, I. M. 1959. The Emergence of Two West African Nations: Ghana and the Ivory Coast. New York: Columbia University Press.

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 68 68 18
Full Text Views 15 15 2
PDF Downloads 20 20 1