The Financialisation of Power in Africa
Routledge – 2014 – 176 pages
The financial crash of 2008 lead people all over the world to ask how far financiers are in control of our lives, and to what extent what they do with our money affects our everyday life. This book asks whether the crisis, and subsequent use of public subsidies to help the international economy recover, was a unique event, or a symptom of a wider malaise where financiers have effectively usurped the power of governments and are running the political economy themselves.
The book explores this issue with particular reference to Africa and the least developed countries, which have a particular dependence on international money. It takes the perspective of the modern state, asking which of the prerogatives of sovereignty have been eroded and in what way, and exploring how the political economy of development actually works in relation to African governance. There is a particular focus on tax havens, asset grabbing, informality and the role of negotiated, rather than normalised, practise in the ways that firms operate.
The book asks key questions for an African response to a political economy of exception: what has been the political price in the arrest of ongoing processes of democratisation? With global governance norms in effective suspension in many Africa states, what price is being paid for participation in a rigged political economy game, where an exceptional right of the wealthy to exploit the poor is remade at every turn, often in the name of development?
1. The Increasing Financialisation of Everything 2. The Frontiers of the Global Political Economy 3. The Nation-State and a Growing Politics of Exceptionalism 4. The Tax Haven Life of The Financial Class 5. The Governance of Privilege and the Privilege of the Governors 6. Developmental Special Sinks and False Pecuniary Solutions 7. The Financialisation of Power 8. Conclusion: Keep It Real! [Not Pecuniary]
Sarah Bracking is Senior Lecturer in the Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM), University of Manchester, UK