Accepted paper:

Urbanisation, deagrarianisation and the welfare state in Africa

Authors:

Jeremy Seekings (University of Cape Town)

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines whether and why deagrarianisation rather than urbanisation has driven welfare state-building across much of Africa, in contrast to the historical experience of much of Europe and Latin America.

Paper long abstract:

In previous work I have argued that deagrarianisation rather than urbanisation has driven welfare state-building across much of Africa, in contrast to the historical experience of much of Europe and Latin America. Is this still true now, in the 21st century, amidst rapid urbanisation and the spectacular emergence of mega-cities in Africa? This paper examines whether, how and why urbanisation has shaped the dynamics of welfare state-building in Africa. Insofar as urbanisation has had less effect than might be expected, the paper assesses why through analysis of the political power and policy preferences of urban constituencies. The paper draws on case-study research across East and Southern Africa through the "Legislating and Implementing Welfare Policy Reforms" research programme (covering primarily Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania/Zanzibar, Zambia, Malawi, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Lesotho), as well as on analysis of cross-country and longitudinal data on public opinion from Afrobarometer.

panel P061
Social Assistance Policies in Africa