Political centralization in pre-colonial Africa

Journal of Comparative Economics Vol/Iss. 41(1) Elsevier Published In Pages: 6-21
By Osafo-Kwaako, Philip, Robinson, James A.


This article investigates commonly accepted theories that purport to explain political centralization and investigate their relevance to sub-Saharan Africa. The leading ideas for the formation of political centralization using a worldwide sample include population density, inter-state warfare, and trade. However, the authors reported these factors are not predictive of the sub-Saharan Africa sample. The authors suggest that the lack of agricultural productivity in sub-Saharan Africa may have stunted population density therefore inhibiting political centralization and that Africa’s poor economic performance is, in part, due to lack of political centralization.

Documents and Hypotheses Filed By:matthew.g.roth danielle.russell jacob.kalodner