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Chapter Summary

This chapter argues that despite the liberalization of the Gambian economy through World Bank directives, and the increasing commoditisation of land and labour for agrarian production, local cultural practices, such as that of entrustment, continue to be of great significance in affecting the nature and particular character of agrarian transformation and postcolonial capitalist development. The chapter follows an agrarian political economy approach, which emphasizes historical 'diversity', local 'complexities' and an analysis of the way in which: 'cultural ideologies, and social institutions' influence the nature of economic change; and particular groups 'negotiate', manage and 'resist' processes of change. It does so in attempts to highlight the frequently neglected links between the past and the present, and the formation of social identities and cultural, political and economic processes in the accumulation of land and labour for agrarian production. The chapter provides an overview of political clientelism within the postcolonial African context.

Keywords: agrarian labour; Gambian economy; Political clientelism; postcolonial capitalist development



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