John Richard Sandbrook (1946-08-13 – 2005-12-11) was a British environmentalist, a co-founder of Friends of the Earth, who served as a director of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).
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The State and Economic Stagnation in Tropical Africa
This is an article published in World Development, vol. 14, #3 (1986), pp. 319-332
- Capitalist development requires, as a precondition, that the state foster a general sociopolitical and legal framework conducive to market relationships. An environment of security of property and predictability is basic to encourage investment; in turn, this requires political stability and a minimum degree of social harmony.
- p. 320
- A legal code that protects the prerogatives of the owners and is officially respected (and hence calculable) is another element.
- p. 320
- Also vital is the protection of the institution of private property through such steps as: limiting the claims and power of employees, abolishing traditional land tenure, safeguarding the sanctity of contracts, and guaranteeing full compensation in the event of nationalization.
- p. 320
- The problem is rather that many African states lack the capacity to establish the crucial conditions for capital accumulation and, additionally, act in economically irrational ways. This nondevelopmental or even antidevelopmental thrust is manifest in the mismanagement, inefficiency, and pervasive corruption of the public sector as well as political instability and the inability to prevent widespread evasion of laws and regulations.
- p. 321