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Ethnic Diversity and Economic Instability in Africa
Interdisciplinary Perspectives


Gustav Ranis, John Lonsdale, Graham Brown, Arnim Langer, Bethwell Allan Ogot, Yash Pal Ghai, Bruce J. Berman, Nobuaki Hamaguchi, Parker Shipton, Frances Stewart, Ken-Ichi Shimomura, Takehiko Yamato, Hiroyuki Hino
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  • Date Published: September 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107443006

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About the Authors
  • There is growing consensus in the development economics literature that ethnic diversity is a very significant factor in explaining Africa's poor economic performance. Ethnic Diversity and Economic Instability in Africa challenges this conventional wisdom. Drawing on the insights of historians, anthropologists and political scientists as well as development economists, this book questions whether ethnicity is the most useful organising principle by which to examine the economic development of Africa, arguing that it is a more fluid and contingent concept than economic models allow. Instead, the authors explore the actual experience of ethnicity in Africa and propose new methods of measuring ethnic diversity and inequalities. Finally some tentative conclusions are reached regarding appropriate policy reforms.

    • Takes an interdisciplinary approach which stimulates new ways of thinking about ethnicity and its relation to African economic development
    • Includes a lucid exposition of the challenges of democracy and market economy in ethnically diverse societies
    • Looks at the historical setting, which both helps to understand the nature of ethnicity in Africa and helps the authors to question the conventional economic and political assumptions
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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107443006
    • length: 354 pages
    • dimensions: 320 x 153 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.5kg
    • contains: 25 b/w illus. 1 map 15 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of figures
    List of tables
    Notes on the contributors
    Findings of development economics and their limitations Gustav Ranis
    Part I. De-mystifying Ethnicity:
    1. Ethnic patriotism and markets in African history John Lonsdale
    2. The concept of ethnicity: strengths and limitations for quantitative analysis Graham Brown and Arnim Langer
    3. Essence of ethnicity: an African perspective Bethwell Allan Ogot
    Part II. Does Ethnic Diversity Hinder Economic Development?:
    4. State, ethnicity and economy in Africa Yash Pal Ghai
    5. Ethnic politics, economic reform and democratisation in Africa Bruce J. Berman
    6. Evidence from spatial correlation of poverty and income in Kenya Nobuaki Hamaguchi
    Part III. Relationships between Ethnicity and Stability:
    7. Belonging, exclusion and ethnic competition Parker Shipton
    8. Horizontal inequalities and market instability in Africa Graham Brown and Frances Stewart
    9. Impact of ethnicities on market outcome: results of market experiments in Kenya Ken-Ichi Shimomura and Takehiko Yamato
    Conclusion: key findings of our interdisciplinary dialogue Hiroyuki Hino
    Author index
    Subject index.

  • Editors

    Hiroyuki Hino, Kobe University, Japan
    Hiroyuki Hino is Economic Adviser to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya.

    John Lonsdale, University of Cambridge
    John Lonsdale is Fellow of Trinity College and Professor Emeritus of Modern African History at the University of Cambridge.

    Gustav Ranis, Yale University, Connecticut
    Gustav Ranis is Frank Altschul Professor Emeritus of International Economics at Yale University.

    Frances Stewart, University of Oxford
    Frances Stewart is Professor Emeritus of Development Economics at the University of Oxford.


    Gustav Ranis, John Lonsdale, Graham Brown, Arnim Langer, Bethwell Allan Ogot, Yash Pal Ghai, Bruce J. Berman, Nobuaki Hamaguchi, Parker Shipton, Frances Stewart, Ken-Ichi Shimomura, Takehiko Yamato, Hiroyuki Hino

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