Beyond Miracle and Malaise. Social Capability in Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal during the Development Era 1930–1980

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This paper investigates the outcome of the efforts to economically catch up during theso-called development era in French-speaking West Africa. An attempt is made tomeasure and discuss key elements of social capability over the period 1930–1980 inCôte d’Ivoire and Senegal following Moses Abramovitz’interpretation of socialcapability. The paper distinguishes between four elements of social capability: degreeof structural transformation, social and economic inclusion, the state’s autonomy, andits accountability. We find that there was significant but uneven progress in socialcapability in both countries during the development era. Despite their differences ineconomic performance, both countries confronted fundamental shared challenges. Mostnotably, our analysis highlights how persistent lack of broad-based access to economicopportunities played a significant role in disrupting sustained economic and socialprogress in the two countries. This gives an opportunity to reflect on similarities anddifferences between the development era and the recent African growth phase.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Economic History
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210-232
JournalStudies in Comparative International Development
Issue number2
Early online date2019 May 10
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch