Winners and Losers: How Sectors Shape the Developmental Prospects of States

Winners and Losers: How Sectors Shape the Developmental Prospects of States

Winners and Losers: How Sectors Shape the Developmental Prospects of States

Winners and Losers: How Sectors Shape the Developmental Prospects of States

Synopsis

"This is an important and much needed book. It presents a rigorous and convincing argument for bringing firms and sectors back into the center of the international political economy field, which allows us to get beyond the increasingly sterile states versus markets debates."-Gary Gereffi, Duke University, American Journal of Sociology

Excerpt

This book began by accident but has become an effort to pull together several widely divergent intellectual and personal, substantive and theoretical concerns. in 1981, when I should have been starting a dissertation on military intervention in the Third World, another member of the Harvard-M.I.T. Research Seminar on Africa suggested that someone ought to investigate the effects of nationalization in Africa. I was that someone. a study of Zaire and Zambia, two of the biggest nationalizers, seemed appropriate. I knew next to nothing about either, and nothing at all about economics, political economy, or mining. Worse, I came to the project with a head full of unexamined notions about multinational corporations, nationalization, and Africa's place in the world that I had picked up in college. What I learned writing "Capturing the Mining Multinationals" (International Organization 37 [Winter 1983]) changed all that—and changed my concerns as a social scientist, too.

Having majored in African history, I saw Africa as special, but by 1981 so did everyone else—for all the wrong reasons. Whenever development was discussed, comments ended with a dismissive "Of course, this doesn't apply in Africa." Indeed, the belief that failure was overdetermined in Africa was so entrenched that many Africanists abandoned efforts to explain Africa in general terms, a sad state of affairs when one considers the preeminence of Africanist scholarship in the evolution of political science and development economics. Like the others, I began work assuming that to understand Zaire and Zambia, one had to start there. But the more I learned, the clearer it became that understanding Zaire and Zambia required understand-

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