Food Security and Elite-Ruler Relations in Sub-Saharan Africa: Exploring the impact of democracy on public goods provision
Item Type:Working Paper
Citation:D'Arcy, Michelle, Food Security and Elite-Ruler Relations in Sub-Saharan Africa: Exploring the impact of democracy on public goods provision, 2012
1364822_2012_1_darcy.pdf (PDF) 514.9Kb
How does democracy impact on public goods provision? This question has provoked a wealth of empirical and theoretical investigation, but few answers that satisfactorily explain emerging patterns in Sub-Saharan Africa. Most existing accounts have focused on only one channel of influence ? that between rulers and voters, arguing that democracy articulates demand for public goods provi- sion through this mechanism. This paper focuses on a different relationship ? that between rulers and elites ? and argues that this mechanism can help to explain what has been happening on the supply side in public goods provision on the continent. The paper argues that democracy increases rulers? need for patronage as a means of elite management, leading to a decline in capacity, and an inability to effectively supply public goods. The need for patronage is increased as democracy, by creating more routes to power, destabilizes rulers in relation to elites, who constitute their main rivals for power, and reduces their ability to employ strategies of control, thus making those of exchange more important. The argument is illustrated with a `most likely? case of food security policy reform in Malawi.
Author: D'ARCY, MICHELLE
Type of material:Working Paper
Availability:Full text available