Ironies of post-cold war structural adjustment in sierra leone

William S Reno*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Africa’s creditors stress ‘;capacity building’; measures to strengthen bureaucratic effectiveness to reverse economic and political decline (Dia 1993). World Bank officials point to the East Asian example of success in using government policies and institutions to promote ‘market friendly’; growth policies insulated from the pressures of clients demanding payouts as a positive example for Africa (World Bank 1993a). Analysts recognise, however, that decades of patron-client politics and intractable rent-seeking behaviour (the use of state resources for personal gain) among state officials limit short-term prospects for increasing revenue collection. With little internal financing for market-boosting policies, World Bank programmes prescribe extensive civil service layoffs. Subsequent reductions in unproductive expenditures will reduce corruption, balance national budgets and remove obstacles to private market growth. Economic growth will in turn produce a class of entrepreneurs to demand more policies and slimmed-down bureaucracies to enhance economic efficiency. This ‘growth coalition’; will identify their interests with those of cost-effective technocratic administrators (World Bank 1994a:10–13). Meanwhile, reform programmes stress the role of foreign investment in generating reliable, politically insulated revenues, especially where domestic public and private investment is limited. A recent World Bank report recommends privatisation and commercialisation of customary state activities where scarce revenues and political entanglements make technocratic reform unlikely (World Bank 1994b:22–51). It argues the advantages of private contractors taking direct responsibility for state services, especially in public works and utilities that are crucial to attracting more foreign investors and supporting local entrepreneurs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationConflict and Security in Africa
PublisherBoydell and Brewer Ltd
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781782041641
ISBN (Print)9781847010780
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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