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Business and Social Crisis in Africa

Business and Social Crisis in Africa

  • Publication planned for: March 2020
  • availability: Not yet published - available from March 2020
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108426312


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About the Authors
  • Based on qualitative, country-based fieldwork in Eastern and Southern Africa, Antoinette Handley examines how African businesses can be key responders to wider social and political crises, often responding well in advance of the state. She reveals the surprising ways in which business responses can be focused, not on short-term profits, but instead on ways that assist society in resolving that crisis in the long term. Taking African businesses in Kenya, Uganda, Botswana and South Africa as case studies, this detailed exploration of the private sector response to crises, including HIV/AIDS and political violence crises, introduces the concept of relative business autonomy, exploring the conditions under which it can emerge and develop, when and how it may decline, and how it might contribute to a higher level of overall societal resilience.

    • Provides detailed empirical exploration of private sector response to HIV/AIDS and political violence in Africa
    • Based on qualitative, country-based fieldwork in Kenya, Uganda, Botswana and South Africa
    • Introduces and explores the concept of relative business autonomy to scholars of political science, and those interested in business-state relations
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Handley effectively unpacks the conditions and contexts in which private companies have responded constructively to HIV/AIDS and election-related violence in Africa. By documenting the variation in responses by firms across national borders and over time, she disrupts canonical ideas regarding the pursuit of 'self-interest' by business.' M. Anne Pitcher, University of Michigan

    'In this strikingly innovative work of comparative political economy, Antoinette Handley inquires into the conditions that lead business interests to furnish collective goods and to act with assertive public purpose in moments of crisis. The resulting argument furnishes important new insights on the political behaviour of firms, in Africa and well beyond. This will be a touchstone for those interested in the shifting relations between government and business in the developing world.' Peter M. Lewis, The Johns Hopkins University

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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: March 2020
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108426312
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 mm
    • availability: Not yet published - available from March 2020
  • Table of Contents

    1. Doing business like a state: the response to social crisis
    Part I. Business, HIV/AIDS and the Provision of Public Health:
    2. Not our business: HIV/AIDS in Kenya and Uganda
    3. Healthy responses: HIV/AIDS in South Africa and Botswana
    Part II. Business, Political Crisis and the Provision of Broader Social Stability:
    4. The business of business is politics: political and electoral violence in South Africa and Kenya
    5. Business interests and the broader social good in the developing world.

  • Author

    Antoinette Handley, University College, University of Toronto
    Antoinette Handley is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University College, University of Toronto where her research focuses on state-business relations and the nature of the capitalist class in Africa. She has been awarded Rhodes and Fulbright scholarships, and the World Politics Research Fellowship at Princeton University, New Jersey. She is the author of Business and the State in Africa: Economic Policy Making in the Neo-Liberal Era (Cambridge, 2008).

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