Annotated bibliography on developmental states, political settlements and citizenship formation: towards increased state capacity and legitimacy?

Annotated bibliography on developmental states, political settlements and citizenship formation: towards increased state capacity and legitimacy?

Policymakers and academics agree that an effective state is the foundation for inclusive development, whilst also recognising the critical role of non-state actors in the delivery of goods and services to poor people. This compilation demonstrates that recent research has offered important insights into the role of state-society relations and bargaining amongst elites in shaping development, and of the progressive role that informal forms of politics can sometimes play.

However, the author points that most governance research has tended to focus on either elitist or popular forms of politics (rarely both), to ignore the importance of global influences, and to deal with one-off case-studies. Yet, the paper underlines that full understanding the political process of globalisation and the retrenchment of the welfare state cannot be achieved without examining how these policies are experienced differentially on the ground.

The document argues that existing donor programmes fail to recognise the full potential of citizen engagement, resulting in lack of understanding of the complex relationship between citizens and the state that shapes governance outcomes. On the other hand, the inability of post-colonial states to move away from the colonial legacy and “depoliticise” cultural difference hinders processes of nation-building and gives rise to political and ethnic violence, particularly in Africa.

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