Transmission Belt for Transnational Capital or Facilitator for Development? Problematising the Role of the State in the Maputo Development Corridor

Journal of Modern Africa Studies, Vol 39, No 4 (December), pp. 675-95

22 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2014

See all articles by Fredrik Söderbaum

Fredrik Söderbaum

University of Gothenburg, School of Global Studies; United Nations University, Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS)

Ian Taylor

University of St. Andrews

Date Written: 2001

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 summarized as a heavier focus on 'development', a more pro-active state, and more comprehensive and inclusive governance structures.

Keywords: Maputo corridor, Southern Africa, regionalism, South Africa, Mozambique, development, spatial development programme

Suggested Citation

Söderbaum, Fredrik and Taylor, Ian, Transmission Belt for Transnational Capital or Facilitator for Development? Problematising the Role of the State in the Maputo Development Corridor (2001). Journal of Modern Africa Studies, Vol 39, No 4 (December), pp. 675-95, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2400887

Fredrik Söderbaum (Contact Author)

University of Gothenburg, School of Global Studies ( email )

POB 700
Gothenburg, SE 40530
Sweden
+46-317864340 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.globalstudies.gu.se/english/about-us/staff?languageId=100001&userId=xsodfr

United Nations University, Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS) ( email )

Bruges
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.cris.unu.edu/Dr-Fredrik-Soederbaum.54.0.html

Ian Taylor

University of St. Andrews ( email )

North St
Saint Andrews, Fife KY16 9AJ
United Kingdom

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