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p. 444. The primacy of patronage politicslocked

  • Ian Taylor


A great number of post-colonial African countries, bounded by formal frontiers and with an international presence at various international institutions such as the United Nations, function quite differently from conventional understandings of what a formal state is and should do. ‘The primacy of patronage politics’ explains that to understand African politics, the concept of neo-patrimonialism must be considered. Neo-patrimonialism is where patronage, clientelism, and rent-seeking exist, but where the structures of a modern state are also in place. In general, post-colonial African leaders have relied on coercive control and patronage through capturing power over the state, rather than through constructing a functioning impartial administration.

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