Transmission belt for transnational capital or facilitaton for development? Problematising the role of the state in the Maputo development corridor

Fredrik Söderbaum*, Ian Taylor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article problematises the role of the state in what is claimed to be the 'flagship' of the South African Spatial Development Initiative (SDI) programme, the Maputo Development Corridor (MDC). The purpose is to assess to what extent the state is best understood as a 'transmission belt' for transnational capital or as a 'facilitator' for development. The study reveals several flaws in the MDC which reinforce the role of the state as a transmission belt for transnational capital, rather than as a facilitator for development. For instance, the neo-liberal market fundamentalism and big-bang approach inherent in the MDC spells 'jobless growth'. Similarly, the notion that 'good governance is less government', implies that the state is to a large extent reduced to an 'investment promotion agency'. Having said this, the MDC does contain several novel and positive features, and its problematic aspects can be overcome through some strategic changes in the MDC approach. These may be summarised as a heavier focus on 'development', a more pro-active state, and more comprehensive and inclusive governance structures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)675-695
Number of pages21
JournalJOURNAL OF MODERN AFRICAN STUDIES
Volume39
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001

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