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Home > Catalogue > Beyond the Miracle of the Market
Beyond the Miracle of the Market


  • 7 b/w illus. 3 maps 22 tables
  • Page extent: 226 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.34 kg
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 (ISBN-13: 9780521617956 | ISBN-10: 0521617952)

DOI: 10.2277/0521617952

  • Also available in Hardback
  • Published July 2005

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 (Stock level updated: 09:07 GMT, 03 October 2015)


As capitalism defeated socialism in Eastern Europe, the market displaced the state in the developing world. In Beyond the Miracle of the Market, first published in 2005, Bates focuses on Kenya, a country that continued to grow while others declined in Africa, and mounts a prescient critique of the neo-classical turn in development economics. Attributing Kenya's exceptionalism to its economic institutions, this book pioneers the use of 'new institutionalism' in the field of development. In doing so, however, the author accuses the approach of being apolitical. Institutions introduce power into economic life. To account for their impact, economic analysis must therefore be complemented by political analysis; micro-economics must be imbedded in political science. In making this argument, Bates relates Kenya's subsequent economic decline to the change from the Kenyatta to the Moi regime and the subsequent use of the power of economic institutions to redistribute rather than to create wealth.

• A foundational work in the political economy of development • Helped to pioneer the new institutionalism in development economics • One of the first books to show that the market would not emerge spontaneously but requires complementary inputs from institutions and the political system


1. The demand for revolution: the agrarian origins of Mau Mau; Appendix 1A. Kinship and stratification; 2. Material interest and political preference: the agrarian origins of political conflict; 3. Institutional structure, agricultural development, and political conflict; 4. From drought to famine: the dynamics of subsistence crises; Appendix 4A. The buying center program; 5. The politics of food crises; Appendix 5A. Famine: Meru, August 1984.


'This book could not have been written at a better time. While the book focuses on Kenya, it is equally applicable to all of Africa, Latin America, and perhaps to the newly evolving capitalist countries of Eastern Europe. Must reading for advanced students, researchers, and policymakers concerned with Africa, development economics, or institution building.' Choice

'Theoretically rigorous, at times even elegant, this volume further confirms Robert Bates as one of the keenest observers of the complex relationship between politics and economics in the developing world … Throughout, Bates masterfully expands on his theoretical arguments, demonstrating that it is necessary to anchor an analysis of class formation within an analysis of social structure and that one has to include an analysis of the broader polity within any study of agrarian politics.' American Political Science Review

'… this is an unusually challenging and insightful volume. It is a major contribution to studies of Kenya while its theoretical and methodological rigor make it of interest well beyond the Kenyan context.' International Journal of African Historical Studies

'… will challenge the thinking of academics and practitioners alike … The conclusions are valuable, but the story told in getting there is still more valuable in this empirically rich and theoretically challenging study.' American Anthropologist

'… a new edition of a very successful volume first published in 1989. … I was struck by how well the … book has aged. It is a complex story, but well told … [it] shows a truly sophisticated and deep understanding of the new institutionalist analysis.' Public Choice

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