Puzzle and Paradox A Political- Economy of Madagascar / Mireille Razafindrakoto, François Roubaud, Jean-Michel Wachsberger

Laboratoires Parutions

Madagascar's long-term trajectory is unique: not only has GDP per capita been trending downward since 1960 (the puzzle), but every time the country has set out on path of growth, it has been stopped in its tracks by a socio-political crisis that has shattered the hopes it raised (the paradox). No satisfactory explanation of this failure has been provided so far. This book elaborates a model of intelligibility of Madagascar's downfall, based on an integrated political economy approach as well as mobilizing the most recent development theories. Combining a review of historical literature with original and sometimes unique statistical surveys, it proposes a general interpretative framework for the workings of Malagasy society. Richly documented and accessible, Puzzle and Paradox allows readers to understand Madagascar's sociopolitical history while more broadly offering an opportunity to grasp the different dimensions of development in the Global South.

  • Connects economic and political history through the synthesis of different sources of knowledge on Malagasy economy and society since colonial times
  • Embraces a data-drive approach to the sociopolitical history of the island and complements it with a generous supply of visualized data
  • Takes stock of assets and obstacles using uncomplicated explanations and specific evidence in order to make the socioeconomic approach to understanding Madagascar accessible without forgoing accuracy


Mireille Razafindrakoto, French Institute for Research for Sustainable Development
François Roubaud, French Institute for Research for Sustainable Development
Jean-Michel Wachsberger, Université de Lille

6 Février 2020

Edition: Cambridge University Press

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