Scarcity, Choice, and Public Policy in Middle Africa

Scarcity, Choice, and Public Policy in Middle Africa

Scarcity, Choice, and Public Policy in Middle Africa

Scarcity, Choice, and Public Policy in Middle Africa

Excerpt

In the previous chapter we touched on the importance of institutions in the conversion of demands into public policies. Thus an examination of institutional mechanisms is critical to an appreciation of the possibilities open to Third World policy-makers to expand economic options. Although policy choice in middle Africa is the central subject of this work, we think that a look at the main institutions affecting the process of choice is essential to a full understanding of the environment in which these priorities are established. After all, priorities cannot be determined unless structures are there to organize the interactions among actors, and they cannot become realized objectives unless institutional resources exist to put them into effect.

Political, economic, and technological capabilities are inevitably circumscribed in most countries the world over, and particularly in less developed middle Africa. Statesmen must invest substantial resources in such institutions as political parties, government, bureaucracies, armies, police, universities, parastatal organizations, cooperatives, legal codes, trade unions, corporations, legislative and judicial organs, and so forth, in order to create the means for coping with environmental strains.

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