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Imperial governance, sovereignty and the management of chronic instability in Africa

Imperial governance, sovereignty and the management of chronic instability in Africa
Imperial governance, sovereignty and the management of chronic instability in Africa
An important political consequence of the crisis of capital in the 1970s has been an increasing intensification of informal imperialism within Africa. This paper argues that the advanced capitalist countries again confronted the endemic problem of overcapacity alongside a decline in the rate of profit and that the major neoliberal reforms foisted upon the African continent were part of the spatio-temporal fix that followed. The quotidian management of many African states was not an intended consequence of structural adjustment, but the subsequent perturbations that beset many developing countries after following such policies has led to such a degree of institutional instability that a new form of imperial governance has come into being. Juridical sovereignty has been maintained, but political sovereignty has been severely compromised through the emergence of this neo-imperial governance. Today an array of external actors is embedded in the sinews of these states, setting the general parameters of state policy to such an extent that one can no longer speak of these countries as possessing de facto independence. The rise of these so-called ‘governance states’ and the new emphasis on ‘governance with government’ constitute a new non-territorial, political form of imperialism.
imperialism, governance states, predatory capitalism, structural adjustment
0143-6597
1476-1495
Glenn, John
d843e423-d1f9-4be5-b667-8e44a42efff2
Glenn, John
d843e423-d1f9-4be5-b667-8e44a42efff2

Glenn, John (2014) Imperial governance, sovereignty and the management of chronic instability in Africa. Third World Quarterly, 35 (8), 1476-1495. (doi:10.1080/01436597.2014.946270).

Record type: Article

Abstract

An important political consequence of the crisis of capital in the 1970s has been an increasing intensification of informal imperialism within Africa. This paper argues that the advanced capitalist countries again confronted the endemic problem of overcapacity alongside a decline in the rate of profit and that the major neoliberal reforms foisted upon the African continent were part of the spatio-temporal fix that followed. The quotidian management of many African states was not an intended consequence of structural adjustment, but the subsequent perturbations that beset many developing countries after following such policies has led to such a degree of institutional instability that a new form of imperial governance has come into being. Juridical sovereignty has been maintained, but political sovereignty has been severely compromised through the emergence of this neo-imperial governance. Today an array of external actors is embedded in the sinews of these states, setting the general parameters of state policy to such an extent that one can no longer speak of these countries as possessing de facto independence. The rise of these so-called ‘governance states’ and the new emphasis on ‘governance with government’ constitute a new non-territorial, political form of imperialism.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 23 September 2014
Published date: 2014
Keywords: imperialism, governance states, predatory capitalism, structural adjustment
Organisations: Politics & International Relations

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 381959
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/381959
ISSN: 0143-6597
PURE UUID: 8f31df76-d3f0-4b45-8c2b-a991e3b50388
ORCID for John Glenn: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9694-8282

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Date deposited: 26 Oct 2015 10:27
Last modified: 09 Jan 2022 02:52

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