Senegal entered the 1990s battling against the familiar catalogue of ills that afflict African economies dependent on the export of primary products. More atypical in the political realm, the country has led the continent in turning from one-party rule to democratic pluralism. This useful collection by Senegal experts explores the country's economic decline to about 1986 and offers a variety of explanations that emphasize the exigencies of Senegalese politics. In the 1960s the country's leaders could rely on a relatively stable and popular system of rule revolving around patron-based distributional networks. In the current era of economic restructuring imposed by multilateral lending agencies, however, leaders must struggle to hold together a far less tractable coalition of urban and rural interests. The prefab prescriptions of structural adjustment programs-that smuggling must be curbed, industries privatized, etc.-threaten these fragile new political arrangements. Although the authors tend to include more on the economic than the political side, there is an admirable effort to interrelate the two.
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