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African Journal of Political Science and International Relations Vol. 5(4), pp.

179-189, April 2011 Available online at ISSN 1996-0832 2011 Academic Journals


The political responses to the global economic and financial crises in Francophone Africa from 1980 to 2010: A paradigm shift?
Landry Sign
Center for African Studies, Stanford University, United States of America. E-mail:
Accepted 16 March, 2011

This article analyzes and compares the political responses to Africas twenty-first century versus twentieth century economic and financial crises in order to explicate the dynamics of policy innovation and continuity. Based on studies of Francophone countries, this comparative institutional analysis proposed direct attention to how ideas (paradigms), interests (strategies of the elites), institutions (national and international) and the temporal context affected political and institutional outcomes. Since the emergence of independent African states, many economic and financial crises have emerged and resulted in path dependent or paradigmatic changes: state interventionism, state capitalism, structural adjustment, privatization, liberalization, progressive dismantling of the interventionist state, interventions of the international financial institutions, regional partnerships for development, poverty reduction strategies, and new public management. Twenty-first century policies constituted a paradigmatic shift compares to the previously nationalist, interventionist, protectionist, and statecentered African policies of the early twentieth century. However, they constitute continuity when compared to neoliberal and market-friendly measures introduced by international financial institutions during the 1980s. Explanations of policy responses lead to newly developed concepts, institutional intrusion (semi-strategic and semi-structural) and inclusion (semi-strategic and semi-ideational), which explain Francophone Africas transformations and have implications for comparative politics in developing countries. Keywords: Francophone Africa, economic crisis, financial crisis, economic development, institutional intrusion, institutional inclusion, political innovation, new partnership for Africa's development (NEPAD). INTRODUCTION The worlds worst economic and financial crises in over 60 years occurred between 2007 and 2010. Experts predicted devastating economic and social consequences for several Sub-Saharan Africa countries (International Monetary Funds (IMF), 2009). African leaders compared the crises to a tsunami shock wave (Banque Africaine de Dveloppement (BAD), 2009a) prone to deteriorate the capacity of states and public institutions to reap the benefits of sustained economic growth and achievement toward Millennium Developmental Goals. In fact, since the emergence of independent African countries, many economic and financial crises occurred and brought substantial changes such as: structural adjustments, privatization, liberalization, progressive dismantlement of interventionist states, international financial institution interventions, strategies for poverty reduction, and new public management (Van de Walle, 2001). Several authors have analyzes the relationship between public institutions, crises, economic growth and Africa and other regions (Bates, 1981, 2008; North, 1990; Van de Walle, 1999; Levi, 2001; Chang, 2002; Collier and O'Connell, 2008; Ndulu, 2008; OConnell, 2008; Heilbrunn, 2009; Kapstein, 2009; Sindzingre, 2009; Radelet, 2010). The majority of research examining the three years crisis focuses on descriptive consequences and normative aspects; recommendations of policy options and evaluating proposed solutions (BAD, 2009a; IMF, 2009, 2009a, b; Matoko, 2009). The understanding of such crises has contributed to the growing body of knowledge, but few have explored the transformative renewal of the public sector in African economies, during the 2007-2010 crisis. By identifying original elements of rupture and


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continuity characterizing public action in Africa, a dynamic explanation of the relationship between institutions, economic growth and development in Africa will result. Through analysis of recent transformations of the public institutions role in African economies and comparison of twenty-first century versus twentieth century responses to crises, exploration of the public sector renewal (increased liberalization or interventionism, rational-legal bureaucracy or new public management, importance of the private sector, participation of citizens in the decision-making process) in African economies will examine: What political actions were taken by states and public sectors facing economic and financial crises in order to re-establish economic growth and development in Africa? Did twenty-first century actions differ from twentieth century policy solutions to crises? Did twenty-first century actions constitute a paradigmatic (reconceptualization of public institutions and actions) change when compared to the twentieth century main evolutions in African economies? The twenty-first century is assumed to bring transformation of state and public actions in the economic and social arenas. Nevertheless, these transformations are path dependent to incremental changes and were unsuccessfully introduced towards the end of the twentieth century. Twentieth century transformations are analyzes, providing analytical material to be compared with evolutions of the twenty-first century. The renewal of state action and public administration in the twenty-first century includes the emergence of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP), Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF), and the reaction to the 2007-2010 crises. Ideational, strategic adaptations and convenient international momentums of African leaders to liberal economic paradigms helped these evolutions. Theoretical and methodological frameworks are initially presented, followed by analytical framework and historical context. Special attention is given to regional and international initiatives, as well as the public sectors role in continuing in liberalization and regional integration in order to increase regulating influences on world affairs impacting national orientations. ANALYTICAL CONTEXT FRAMEWORK AND HISTORICAL

The new institutionalism theoretical approach and the comparative qualitative method are the frameworks used to analyze the twentieth and twenty-first century transformations. Analytical framework: Theoretical, contextual and methodological factors The adopted analytical approach, new institutionalism

explains the role institutions have in determining political, economic and social outcomes (North, 1990; Hall and Taylor, 1997; Levi, 2001; Weingast, 2002; Gazibo, 2005) with emphasis on the following four variables ideas, interests, institutions and time. Using ideas as independent variables, scholars (March and Johan, 1984; DiMaggio and Powell, 1991) explain institutional development, (innovation, continuity, and change) through the dominant values, cultures, frames, as well as paradigm and cognitive factors that motivate humans in quest of social recognition, satisfaction or legitimization. Those focusing on interests as independent variables explain political and economic results by considering human behaviors as rational, guided by strategies aiming to maximize gains and minimize costs. Ontologically and epistemologically speaking, this implies the logic of rational choice, methodological individualism, strategic calculus, instrumentalism, and utility maximization (North, 1990; Levi, 2001; Weinsgast, 2002). Institutions are analyzed by most scholars, but some emphasize their structuring effects in determining political and economic results (Evans et al., 1985; Pierson, 1993, 2004). Time, the last variable, is particularly appreciated by historical institutionalists and used by several scholars to detect historical mechanisms undermining economic results (Mahoney and Rueschemeyer, 2003; Pierson, 2004). Influential scholars are encouraging a combination of several variables in order to increase the heuristic value of analyses (Hall, 1989; Wendt, 2001; Weingast, 2002; Thelen, 2003; Gazibo and Jenson, 2004). For example, with his constructivist approach, Wendt proposes a constitutive conception of the relation between ideas and interests (1999). Using four variables is particularly interesting for analysis of the relationship between economic crises (ideas) and political changes (institutions and interest) in a long historical period (time). Four concepts of new institutional analysis will be used for this article namely 1) critical juncture, 2) path dependence, 3) layering, and 4) conversion. Additionally, concepts of 5) institutional intrusion and 6) institutional inclusion developed in a previous work (Sign, 2010) complement them. Critical juncture is the crucial moment of irreversible momentum, a crisis point, or convenient period offering a window of opportunity for contingent choice and institutional change (Collier and Collier, 1991; Kingdon, 2003; Pierson, 2004). Through the bifurcation process, critical juncture creates a new path dependent and selfreinforcing trajectory of institutional development. James Mahoney and Daniel Schensul (2008) identify six characteristics of the path dependency phenomenon: 1) The past affects the future. 2) Initial conditions are causally important. 3) Contingent events are causally important. 4) Historical lock-in occurs. 5) A selfreproducing sequence occurs. 6) A reactive sequence occurs (p. 457). Path dependence is best explained through the following metaphor:



From the same trunk, there are many different branches and smaller branches. Although, it is possible to turn around or to clamber from one to another, and is essential if the chosen branch dies, a branch on which a climber begins is the one she tends to follow (Levi, 2001: 28). Thus, past decisions affect future decisions as historical institutional arrangements make short-term situations of less significance, as the cost of reactive reversal is very high (Levi, 2001; Mahoney and Schensul, 2008). Within a highly structured context, innovations identified by scholars using the new institutional approach are likely to encounter two main limitations 1) conversion and 2) layering. Conversion indicates redirection of existing institutions to new goals: Existing institutions are redirected to new purposes, driving changes in the role they perform and/or the function they serve (Thelen, 2003: 226). This process is likely to occur when the cost of both creation and replacement are very high and consequently dissuasive (Pierson, 2004: 156). Layering involves the partial renegotiation of some elements of a given set of institutions while leaving others in place (Thelen, 2003: 225). It is the creation/ superposition of a new institution without dismantling previous ones. When reformers or losers are unable to change existing institutions, they create new organizations to reach their goals (Schickler, 2001; Pierson, 2004) resulting in new and old institutions coexisting and contributing to significant future changes (Schickler, 2001: 15). Inspired by Alexander Wendt conception of the relation between ideas and interests, as well as Van de Walle conception of the role of IFI in Africa, these two new concepts have successfully explained political innovations in Africas development strategies (Sign, 2010). Institutional intrusion is best defined as: A semi-strategic and semi-structural process through which national actors are partly forced to adopt new institutions or policies, and agree to do so only because of asymmetry in power, structural constraints (structure), or potential benefits (strategies) of the international actors. In this context, relevant and non-constraining alternatives are quasi inexistent, but national actors still have (limited) room for negotiations (Sign, 2010: 122). This particular concept explains the introduction of structural adjustment plans that renewed public action at the end of the twentieth century. According to the process of path dependency, institutional intrusion will contribute directly to twenty-first century transformations, including institutional inclusion. Institutional inclusion is best defined as: A semi-strategic and semi-ideational process through which national or regional actors intentionally include current international strategies (or solutions) in a new

institution or policy with the aim of increasing the probability of acceptance (via recognition, social suitability, real or perceived common values) or success to ensure interests of their strategy within a structured political environment as the ideas are constitutive of interests in this process. Inclusion does not necessarily imply success or failure of innovations. In fact, the process is strategic, as is the question of existence and interest to ensure their survival and success, effectively or efficiently, in addition to ideational (question of recognition, acceptance, shared or apparently shared values). Once institutions or policies are adopted, dynamics can vary greatly (Sign, 2010: 183). Given the research goal of analyzing the renewal of public action in African countries facing twenty-first century crises compared to twentieth century ones, using institutional intrusion in a historical context makes it possible to identify features of post-independent African public institutions and sanctioned enhanced explanation of Structural Adjustments Programs (SAPs). The changes introduced in twentieth century public action are compared to twenty-first century strategies in order to identify elements of rupture and continuity, using the most convenient concepts to explain transformation of the public sectors role and renewal process. Primary data sources include government and international agencies policy papers such as five-year development plans, structural adjustment plans, poverty reduction strategy papers and other documents inspiring public sector reforms in Africa. Secondary data sources include scientific articles, monographs, and surveys for analysis of government or international agencies. It should be noticed that Africa refers to Sub-Saharan Africa, specifically Francophone Africa. Also, primary and secondary data is from the following nine countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. Conclusions are thus generalizable to Francophone Africa and specific to previous French colonialized countries. Historical context: National fold, economic crises, states retrenchment, structural adjustments, deregulation, and liberalization during the twentieth century Identification of core characteristics and transformations in post-colonial states that faced twentieth century crises is imperative in understanding the revival of the states actions during the twenty-first century. The phase of national fold: Colonial heritage under tension The national fold phase succeeded transitions to


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independence with autocratic welfare states, playing a central role in economic development during the sixties and seventies (Heilbrunn, 2009). The international economic context, intellectually dominated by Keynesian paradigms, was favorable to interventionist policies (Ndulu, 2008). In fact, after independences, African economies were characterized by a neo-colonial growth model (Hopkins, 1973; Grellet, 1982; Hameso, 2001). Economic structures were product export-oriented, with the preponderance of primary and tertiary sectors, absence of a real industrialization, (despite efforts to create a manufacturing industry), absence of intersectoral relations, external dependence; strong demographic growth (Grellet, 1982: 13), low investment rate, and state monopolies of strategic industrial sectors (Grellet, 1982). The state controlled most investments, using an administered prices system and installed Keynesian macroeconomic policy instruments to regulate the economy (Hugon, 2006: 19). These policies varied according to whether countries were socialist-oriented (Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Congo) or liberal-oriented (Cameroun, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Niger, and Togo). Although the states were interventionists in both cases, socialist orientated states controlled their economies more than liberal states, which are more open-minded about market affairs (Ndulu, 2008). In short, the public sector (state, administration, institutions, state enterprises or parastatal) was hypertrophied, omnipresent, with Keynesian tendency and developmental orientations, playing an important role in fostering economic growth and development. The basis of growth and development is not hesitating to invest directly, regulate supply and demand and control several industries (Grellet, 1982; Durufl, 1988). Nevertheless, the state began to disengage from the economy during the eighties. Economic crises and public actions renewal in the twentieth century: State retrenchment, structural adjustments, deregulation, and liberalization. During the seventies, the neo-colonial growth model was called into question. In fact, African economies were confronted by critical international circumstances, a succession of oil crises (1973, 1974 and 1979), economic recession in developed countries, scarcity of financial resources and inconsistent public expenditures (Cornia, 1987; Durufl, 1988; Toye, 1995; Van de Walle, 2001; Ndulu, 2008; Heilbrunn, 2009). Economies in developing countries encountered the worst distress as Toye (1995) explains: In Sub-Saharan Africa, the economic recession was far more serious than in industrialized countries. The real GDP growth rate fell from 6.4%, in 1965 and 1973, to

3.2% between 1973 and 1980. As the demographic growth rate, already high in Sub-Saharan Africa, continued to rise, it translated into a grave fall of real GDP growth per capita and per inhabitant from 3.2 to 0.3% (43). Several consequences of the crises contributed to important revitalizations of African public actions. Consequences include: deficits in monetary, tax and balance payments, high inflation rates, deterioration of trade terms, limited access to international financial markets, decreased GDP per capita, and social disasters particularly in health, nutrition and education (Jeppersen, 1991). These crises constituted the critical juncture (Collier and Collier, 1991; Kingdon, 2003; Pierson, 2004; Tilly, 2008), setting a new trajectory for public actions: structural adjustment programs (SAPs), deregulation measures, privatization, liberalization, and dismantling of the omnipresent state. Initial SAP agreements were signed by the World Bank and Senegal in 1981, followed by Ivory Coast in 1982, Togo in 1983, Niger in 1985, Congo in 1986, Benin in 1989, Cameroun in 1989, Mali in 1991 and Burkina Faso in 1991. This is summarized by Van de Walle: When the first crisis emerged, mainstream economists and the staffs of the World Bank and IMF largely blamed what they viewed as wrongheaded economic policies of African governments for the crisis. They particularly blamed excessive government expenditures, overvalued exchange rates, various domestic price distortions, high levels of public ownership, and protectionism of trade policies. Therefore, they prescribed policy reform. The IMFs stabilization programs included measures to cut the fiscal deficit, devalue what was typically an overvalued currency, and contract the money supply. The World Bank promoted structural adjustment programs that prescribed price liberalization and deregulation, trade reform, and the divestiture or liquidation of state-owned enterprises in order to improve economic incentives and promote higher investment rates. Many critics disagreed with the IMF diagnosis. African governments defended their former policies and argued that it was an international economic volatilityin particular the wild commodity price swings of the 1970sthat was the real cause of the crisis (Van de Walle, 2001: 8-9). Structural adjustments were adopted through institutional intrusion, semi-structural and semi-strategic processes dominated by external actors, since internal actors were confronted with institutional deficiencies and required external funds. In fact, a power asymmetry, in favor of international financial institutions, existed during negotiations of SAPs within African countries. Conversely, strategic adjustments of African leaders seeking to obtain resources to finance their economy were also present. As a result, formal conversions from an interventionist statedriven to liberal marked-driven developments occurred. SAPs renewed public action by introducing several



instruments: administrative reforms, state-owned business reforms, bank restructuring, privatization, civil service reduction, salary freezes, liberalization of national products trade, liberalization, international exchanges, deregulation, dismantling of state monopolies, elimination of grant and tax exemptions to state enterprises, elimination of price controls, promotion of the private sector, incentives for foreign direct investment, retrenchment of the state, reform of agricultural and industrial policies, and modernization of public administration (Durufl, 1988; Hood, 1991; Williamson, 1994; data from the SAPs of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo). SAPs evolved into a permanent measure in Africa during the eighties to late nineties. SAPs were sometimes adapted (social safety net), but the philosophy remained the same. United Nations Development Program (UNDP) considered innovations in terms of adjustment strategies during the 1990s as restrictive, supporting the elimination of poverty, one of the central goals for contemporary policies of development (UNDP, 1999: 1). This breach brought further important transformations during the early twenty-first century.

between countries and IFIs that had been promoted by IFIs and international financial leaders. Despite SAPs improvements following the initial failures (Cornia et al., 1987; Banque Mondiale, 1990, 1993; Valier, 2000), significant changes were not present until the end of the twentieth century. Time serves as an excellent variable in explaining the origin of alternative policies, especially cumulative causes (Pierson, 2004) that have gradually directed the progression of IFI and state policies; passing from the adaptation of SAPs, to additional social measures, to a change process through conversion of SAPs into PRSP and PRGF. After the results of SAPs, several alternative solutions came from UNICEFs experts. Innovative adjustments with human face (Cornia et al., 1987) highlighted the importance of considering the wellbeing of highly vulnerable groups, including wide measures supporting not only economic growth, but sustainable development (Cornia et al., 1987: 158). UNICEF thus proposed an improved human approach based on six fundamental ideas: 1) More expansionist macroeconomic policies in order to pass from growth to development; 2) Meso-economic policies aiming to achieve economic goals while meeting the needs for the most vulnerable; 3) Sectorial measures to ensure the reorganization of the productive sector; 4) Specific measurements aiming to increase equity and the social sectors effectiveness; 5) Compensatory programs aiming to protect the essential standards of living, health and nutrition of the poorest groups; 6) Monitoring of indicators related to the standards of living, health and nutrition of the vulnerable groups during the adjustment (Cornia et al., 1987: 160-161). UNICEFs approach is important because, like the IMF and the World Bank, it belongs to the United Nations System. The World Bank lost its legitimacy within the United Nations System and several countries, and gradually integrated UNICEFs perspective by directing its discourse from predominantly economic to more social targets (Banque Mondiale, 1990 (Poverty); 1993 (Health); 2000/2001 (Comprehensive Development Framework), 2000/2001 (Attacking Poverty)). This process led to the SAPs conversion into PRSP, PRSC and PRGF (Banque Mondiale 2001). This is an indicator of innovative (although still limited) change for IFIs, which passed from economic, financial and no participative design during the 1980s with the SAPs, to more participative, inclusive and global development solutions with the PRSP, PRGF and Millenium Development Goals (Banque Mondiale, 2000, 2001). The IFIs proposed that Africans claim the twentyfirst century by establishing a reliable regional integrative and effective world partnership (Banque Mondiale, 2000).

THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY: STATES RETURN, LIBERALIZATION, ATTEMPTS AT REGIONAL INTEGRATION AND MEASURES TO FIGHT THE 20072010 CRISES The last decade of the twentieth century (and partly the beginning of the twenty-first century) was a redefining period of the states innovative emerging role which included: Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP), Poverty Reduction Support Credit (PRSC), Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) of the IMF and World Bank, and the new Partnership for Africas Development (NEPAD), which was initiated by African leaders. Furthermore, the 2007-2010 economic and financial crisis was an addendum to present pressures on states and public administrations; tensions that lead to a special configuration of public actions.

Crises of legitimacy and adoption of PRSP and PRGF Trajectories of collaboration between African states and International Financial Institutions (IFIs) in time provide an interesting explanation of PRSPs and PRGFs emergence, in the dawn of the twenty-first century. The renewal of public actions by SAPs produced dawdling and inefficient institutional, economical and social effects during the eighties and nineties, leaving African economies in a succession of crises for two decades (Van de Walle, 2001). The persistence of such crises encouraged intense scrutiny of the model relationship


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Emergence of NEPAD and millennium development goals: International, national, and regional dynamics and innovations NEPAD is an organization created to enhance management of regional issues faced by African leaders in order to translate their will and influence on world affairs (NEPAD, 2001). NEPAD was established after a series of events: Lagos Action Plan failure, SAPs institutional intrusion, and institutional conversion in the early twenty-first century. These changes formed a critical juncture which contributed to the emergence of NEPAD. These cumulative factors do not conceal the immediate window of opportunity which accelerated the start of NEPAD. International dynamics: Millennium development goals and special development needs of Africa During the United Nations General Assemblys 55th session, the Millennium Declaration was adopted by state and government leaders to support the consolidation of democracy in Africa and assist Africans in their struggle for lasting peace, poverty eradication and sustainable development, thereby bringing Africa into the mainstream world economy (Millennium Declaration, 2000: 7). State and government entities committed themselves to answering special developmental needs of Africa through Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). MDGs aim to make the process of development a right and reality for everyone (Millennium Declaration, 2000). MDGs objectives include: 1. Ending poverty and hunger, 2. Improving access to universal education, 3. Gender equality, 4. Pediatric and maternal health, 5. Combating HIV/AIDS, 6. Environmental sustainability and global partnerships (UNDP, 2003: 1-3). In unison with the World Bank (Banque Mondiale, 2000, 2001), the UN suggested installation of a global partnership to accelerate economic growth and successful implementation of Millennium Development Goals. The IFIs also promised to support an African initiative likely to contribute to the continents development. The international context was then favourable to African innovations. National and regional dynamics: The millennium partnership for the African Recovery Program, Omega Plan, and the emergence of NEPAD Aside from this international agenda, at the immediate origin of NEPAD was the grave competition between African project promoters, South African President Thabo

Mbekis Millennium Partnership for the African Recovery Program (MAP) and the Omega Plan (OMEGA), developed by Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade. During the World Economic Forum in 2001, President Mbeki presented MAP as the solution to Africas development problems. MAP supporters also included Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo (Nigeria), Abdelaziz Bouteflika (Algeria) and Hosni Mubarak (Egypt) (Taylor, 2003). Ideas from African Renaissance formed the theoretical basis of the South African post-apartheid policy and have largely influenced Mbekis MAP (Taylor et al., 2002: 163-180). Goals of the Millennium Partnership for the African Recovery Program include restoration of Africa dignity and identity through reinforcement of pan-Africanist ideologies and recertification of the continental economy (Taylor et al., 2001). MAP predominantly focused on the global perspective of political and economic governance as well as promoted establishments of new partnerships between African and international institutions (Mbeki, 2001). In competition with the MAP, other leaders proposed different plans to address economic development goals. During the 2001 France-Africa Summit, Abdoulaye Wade proposed the Omega Plan which highlighted limitations of MAP and focused on issues partially addressed by MAP, specifically infrastructures, health, education and development assistance. His analysis exemplified competition between African elites ideas and interests in elaborating continental strategies for economic development. In addition, President Thabo Mbeki and Abdoulaye Wade were, for the most part, democratically elected and represented hope for their citizens (Taylor et al., 2002: 172). Eventually, the two plans merged to form the New African Initiative on July 3rd, 2001. This initiative was validated at the African Union Summit in Abuja on October 23rd, 2001, adopted the name of NEPAD, and became a program of the African Union (Makhan, 2002: 5). NEPAD is a continental development strategy, offering descriptive factors of Africas inhibited development such as the African slave trade, colonization, poor leadership, continental political and economic marginalisation and exclusion. NEPAD proposed solutions are likely to contribute to economic prosperity, sustainable development and successful integration in a globalized world. Ten NEPAD priorities include improved: public and corporate governance, infrastructures, education, health, new technologies for information and communication, agriculture, environment, energy, and access to markets of developed countries (NEPAD, 2001). The public sectors revival within the twenty-first century before the 2007-2010 crises: PRSP, economic liberalism, social interventionism The transformation of public action in the economic and



social spheres was marked by a prime twenty-first century innovation, PRSP. In fact: PRSP describes macroeconomic, structural, and social policies and programs that a country will pursue over several years to promote growth and reduce poverty, as well as external financing needs and associated sources of financing. They are prepared by governments in low-income countries through a participatory process involving domestic stakeholders and external development partners, including the IMF and the World Bank (IMF, 2005: 1). PRSP harmonizes with liberal logic, which first started with signatures from SAPs and the World Bank during the eighties, followed by adoption measurements of state retrenchment via instruments such as liberalization and privatization. PRSPs are indispensable for low income countries willing to obtain financial aids from one of these two organizations (IMF and the Banque Mondiale) (Cling et al., 2002: 1). When translated, its recognition of the states positive role, formerly considered by IFIs as the source of bad economic performance in Africa, is of original significance. Main program objectives represent a transformation of the IFI vision, moving from a directive (top-down) to participative (bottom-up) process, thus permitting important decisional space to African leaders, integration of participative improvements in civil society and inauguration of poverty reduction. Respectively, Francophone countries adopted their first PRSPs in 2000 (Burkina Faso), 2002 (Benin and Niger), 2003 (Cameroon and Mali), 2004 (Senegal), 2007 (Congo), and 2008 (Ivory Coast). The interim PRSPs versions were respectively adopted in 2000 (Benin, Cameroon, Mali, Niger and Senegal), 2002 (Ivory Coast), 2004 (Congo) and 2008 (Togo). The states economic role was presented in the twentyfirst century PRSP differently from 1960-1980 practices. In fact, previous socialist-oriented countries (Congo, Mali, Benin, and Burkina Faso) abandoned ideas of excessive interventionists, where economic growth was statedriven. This includes monopoly of public enterprises, investment control, and active regulation of the economy as aforementioned. PRSPs logic is more neoliberal than the one adopted by previous liberal-oriented countries (Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Niger, and Togo). Economically, private sector development is considered essential to generating economic growth and reducing poverty. The government of Niger promoted divestment of regulating, promoting and accommodating growth from public enterprises to the private sector, creating a sound, secure and attractive socio-political, macro-economic, regulatory and legal environment (CNDLP, 2002: 11). Policy pursuits strongly encouraged macroeconomic and fiscal stabilization, privatization program implementation, and financial sector reorganization, improved infrastructure (roads, telecommunications, air transport, electricity, water, etc.), regulatory framework

simplification, and improvements to legal and judicial systems access to achievements of the financial sector reform program (Niger Government, 2002: 58-59). For instance, some countries presented the states new role and demonstrated a balance between continuation of liberalization and recognition of the states structured role. Implementing poverty reduction strategies in a favorable investment climate requires strengthening of the state's strategic and exclusive role as arbiter, regulator and promoter in designing policies, development strategies and standard initiatives, laws and regulations to govern economic activity (Niger Government, 2002: 69). Similarly, the Ivory Coasts Government considers that its first PRSP was planned and prepared with active public participation focusing on specific national and international policies aiming to initiate poverty reduction and strong economic growth. The PRSP identifies government objectives, strategies and actions in the short and medium-terms (Cte dIvoire, 2008). State disengagement shows a reversal (compared to the 1960s and 1970s), beyond the conditionality introduced by SAPs, of funds likely to be gained by African leaders when adjusting their values to those of the IFIs, who influence the process of debt cancellation and financial resources renewal. The states social role was reinforced, causing a small break in the tendency initiated by SAPs, which granted little attention to social questions. State retrenchment was accompanied by reinforcing actions in the social sphere, whose adoption measurements were likely to reduce poverty and support human and social development, as clearly specified in PRSP: The government will boost investments in public goods and basic socio-economic infrastructure in order to meet fundamental and basic needs of the population at a reduced cost (CNDLP, 2002: 11). In addition, as people are principal agents and beneficiaries of development, government emphasis on general human resources development and the human capital improvement is of particular interest (CNDLP, 2002). If the states role lessened during the post-independent period, it is still of greater significance and of surpassed clarity than during the SAPs period. The state later became an important social actor as national and international actors whose values and interests to fight against poverty became an official goal. After the independence and until the eighties, the interventionist state was the main creator of developmental strategies. From the eighties to the nineties, it was partly transcended to a secondary role. In fact, the SAPs were promoting a state retrenchment as well as more liberalization policies. Intrusive neoliberal IFIs policies were then oppositional to national interventionist paradigms. Thus, PRSP marked a relative state return in creating development policies, even though IFIs kept a mechanism enabling them to prevail interests, as they must validate the PRSP before transferring funds. A


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modified relation between international and regional actors, with increased state participation, resulted in unsatisfying SAPs implementation, political learning, and IFI leaders preference to transfer ownership to African partners, while involving civil society in the process. It also corresponded to interests of African leaders who wished to initiate their own developmental policies instead of having those policies imposed by other international actors. Domestically, the participative innovation process lead to PRSP development. Multiple actors in formulation and implementation were supposed to guarantee successful implementation: To ensure ownership of poverty reduction strategies, PRSP was supported by a consultative and participatory process involving local governments, civil society organizations or representatives, NGOs, the private sector and development partners []. Thus, it was possible to achieve consensus to strategy, which should increase the likelihood of successful implementation (CNDLP, 2002: 14). This participative process is strategic, aiming to integrate self-determination of civil society and increase IFIs credibility, which has long been criticized for not taking into account democratic factors. Nevertheless, regional actors appear to have a weak influence on the emergence and con-figuration of the PRSP, which is paradoxical, given that NEPAD was adopted in 2001 as a continental strategy of development, and common vision of African leaders. Nevertheless, the ideas contained in PRSP do not sway from those of the NEPAD, which are similar to those of IFIs and other international actors. All in all, PRSPs emergence is consistent with the institutional SAPs conversion and inclusion processes, which passed from objectives of adjustment and stabilization to poverty reduction. This change is the result of the political learning processes, trial-and-error with strategic and ideational adaptations. Beyond conversion, institutional adaptation of the instrument itself (measures proposed by the SAP) increase effectiveness within a social status. The 2007-2010 economic and financial crises: Impacts, states responses, national and regional actors and renewal of public actions The 2007-2010 world financial crises struck Africa, resulting in economic deceleration in public income and tax receipts, raw material prices, household consumption, foreign direct investments as well as trade degradation causing considerable deterioration of budget and external accounts (Amoussouga, 2009; BAD, 2009, 2009a, b; IMF, 2009a, b, c, d; Youm and Dagher, 2009). The 2008 1.8% surplus plummeted to a -5% GDP deficit in 2009, causing a reduction in public aid for development (Matoko, 2009) and fall in Diaspora fund transfers to Africa (Antil et al., 2009). Regionally, the African Development Bank launched a credit line intended for

financing business transactions of financing institutions (BAD, 2009b). While conducting a 2010 joint evaluation in Ivory Coast, in conjunction with the World Bank and African Development Bank, IMF mission leader, Mrs. Doris Boss observed accelerated economic growth in 2009 (3.8%), constituting a positive growth per capita for the first time since 1998. Despite the 1.6% deficit in budgetary execution, the pro-poor expenditures increased to 7.8% of the GDP (Ross quoted in Russir du 22 mars, 2010). An interesting note is the transformation of public action: Even during difficult economical junctures, states maintained their social role in reducing poverty. This illustrates that twenty-first century public action is still liberal as in the last decade of the twentieth century, but more social than during the eighties and nineties. This explains the convergence between the UN, IMF, World Bank, NEPAD, African leaders sharing the same goals of fighting poverty as the main objective of developmental strategies. States facing the 2007-2010 crises undertook administrative and institutional solutions comparative to twentieth century actions. Considering this reaction as contributing to Africas capitalist revolution, Ethan Kapstein has interestingly observed that in one of the great ironies of history, Africa may well emerge from the current global recession as the only region in the world that remains committed to global capitalism (2009: 119). In order to minimize crises effects, specific measures were utilized, which included setting up special monitoring units, providing fiscal stimulus packages, revising budget expenditures, targeting assistance on key sectors, strengthening regulation of banking sector and financial markets, expansions in monetary policy, and foreign exchange controls to protect the exchange rate (BAD, 2009a: 1). A critical constituent was the preservation of foundational growth in policy reforms and economic climate (BAD, 2009a). The Benin crisis was characterized by cash flow problems, overdue accumulation, and acceleration in customs receipts fall (Benin Government, 2010: 15). The government adopted measures to confront the crises effects and create a monitoring commission. The process began with a quest to finance public expenditure through concessional loans and donations (Benin Government, 2010). Nevertheless, auditing of state arrears and public investment programs supplemented the quest of public expenditure reduction (Benin Government, 2010). As a result, coordination of economic policies were examined and reinforced to ensure improved financial performance (Benin Government, 2010). For example, Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) was encouraged to continue trade banks liquidity reinforcement by showing increased flexibility within the framework of its fourteen weekly injunctions and revising declines in regional funds rates and reserves coefficient applied to banks (Benin Government, 2010: 12). Additional adopted measures by the Benin government included giving free course to



automatic budgetary stabilizers, who face adversity of revenues from taxes, by not modifying the fiscal policy in progress, maintaining public expenditure levels, and making discretionary increases for welfare expenditures (Benin Government, 2010: 12). Through these measures, IMF partners lessened the budget deficit (Benin Government, 2010). Nevertheless, the stability or increase in pro-poor expenses and actions during crises were similar to SAPs solutions. The difference is African leaders assumed ownership of liberal policies previously imposed by IFIs; that is institutional inclusion, semi-ideational and semistrategic institutional innovation processes (Sign, 2010). The process is ideational because African leaders are now socialized to economic liberalism after almost three decades of political learning by interacting with IFIs and implementing SAPs. The process is strategic because by adopting those policies, they are likely to be significantly financed or supported by several partners, including IMF, the World Bank, and bilateral partners. Interestingly, despite the crises, states tried to keep public expenditures growing to accomplish their social role. (health and education). Liberal economic policies continued but States had increased presence within the social arena. CONCLUSION African states and public administrations facing crises had a multifaceted approach to problem solving. A thorough reactive interventionism may have been implemented to face the 2007-2010 economic crisis may have been anticipated, as it occurred sporadically in the United States and several Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries. On the contrary, states and public administrations crystallized the national fold rupture observed during the eighties. The phase of national fold, characterized by excessive interventionism in economic and social spheres, began in the postcolonial era; consequently leaving room for progressive state retrenchment in response to economic and financial crises during the seventies, eighties and nineties. The dependence of African countries- with respect to international trade as well as international funds from institutions such as the IMF, the World Bank, bilateral partners or development assistances- partially explains the continuing neoliberal public actions. Retrenchment was encouraged by several structural adjustment programs, introducing liberalization by institutional intrusion, a semi-structural and semi-strategic process of innovation. Supposed transitory adjustments were prolonged over several decades to become the new mode of public governance in Africa at the end of the twentieth century (Van de Walle, 2001). The beginning of the twenty-first century provided a fresh start as the PRSP and MDGs encouraged state and public administrations to take a significant role in

economic and social spheres. If liberalization continued in economic arenas, the state focused intervention in the social sphere. Regionally, institutional inclusion, a semistrategic and semi-ideational process, characterized the emergence of NEPAD, whose goal is to contribute to Africas development and increase the capacity of Africa to influence world affairs. Until now, public actions assimilate continuity compared to the preceding policies of the nineties and early twenty-first century. Comparing twentieth century states responses to economic and financial crises by actions taken in the twenty-first century, after fifty years of independence, prominent state and public administrations transformations during crises periods were strongly correlated to international economic and public actions paradigm evolutions. Although the perspective among Africa and the IFIs during the eighties when adopting SAPs, the relationship become more consensual, partly due to the increased participative approach adopted by IFIs, as well as the convergence of ideas and interests illustrated by the adoption of PRSP aiming to fight poverty through economic growth. From a structural and coercive innovation conceptualized as institutional intrusion (SAPs), Africa has moved toward a more ideational and strategic innovation (PRSP, NEPAD, responses to the 2007-2010 crises) through institutional inclusion processes, including a paradigm shift. As defined in this article, the newly developed concepts, institutional or political intrusion and institutional inclusion, are excellent tools to conciliate ideas, interests, institutions and time while heuristically explaining political and institutional transformations in a structured context in order to explain the state response to economic and financial crises. Thus, the discussion on change in comparative politics, international political economy and political science is revitalized. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I would like to thank Dr. Richard Robert and Dr. Laura Hubbard respectively, Director and Deputy Director of the Center for African Studies at Stanford University, Dr. Larry Diamond, Director of the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford University, Dr. Tyson Roberts from Princeton University, Ms. Amy Harth, Nadine and anonymous reviewers. I would also like to thank Dr. Philippe Bance and Dr. Luc Bernier of the CIRIEC International, as well as Peter Lang Publishing for comments and approval of this publication in English. Thank you to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Quebec Fund for Research on Culture and Society for funding this research.
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