Economic transformation is driven by successfully implemented industrial policy, but industrial policy is inherently political. We cannot understand why some governments pursue and implement industrial policy better than others without understanding the politics. This article addresses the conditions under which industrial policies are successfully implemented. It presents an analytical approach to understanding why some ruling elite-capitalist alliances lead to better economic outcomes than others. Sub-Saharan African countries present a particular puzzle given their low productive capabilities and the relatively small number of successful productive sectors. The article examines the most successful productive sectors in Mozambique and in Ghana in order to illuminate the conditions under which such alliances occur and their specific characteristics and outcomes.
Third World Quarterly, 2014, Vol 35, Issue 1, p. 126-144