The Role and Influence of Institutions in Economic Development in Uganda: Evidence and Insights from the Development of the Uganda Coffee Sector 1900 - 2004
Kasozi, Anthony Sebyala
Today there is no agreement as to how developing countries can achieve sustained economic growth and wellbeing. Over the last 50 years many suggested policy panaceas have failed. Policy makers are now faced with growing economic challenges and confusing policy prescriptions. Against this background, the re-emerging study of institutions now offers new promise in explaining why development has so far eluded so many countries, and consequently, what can be done about it. This thesis deals with questions which to date have only received partial or cursory attention. The study asks: What really are institutions? Why do they matter? What can we learn about them that can help us deal with the current challenging development debacle? This study starts by reaffirming what institutions are. It shows that institutions are inescapable influencers of the way we relate to each other, and the effects we have on our societies’ economic development. Yet so far, scholars and policy makers have not yet fully taken up the opportunity of identifying and utilising the insights that the institutional perspective offers. This study deliberately picks up the challenge. Using the experience of the Uganda coffee sector, it shows that the nature of institutions can be better understood, and their role and impact, better addressed towards pressing development questions. The study shows that by integrating old and new institutionalist perspectives and theories of institutions and institutional change, it is possible to make much more progress towards understanding, explaining and addressing the role and influence of institutions in the development of an economic sector. In so doing this study goes beyond existing works on definition, taxonomy and explanation of institutional influence. It raises new insights to be considered as we face today’s contemporary development challenges. This research should therefore be of interest and value to researchers, students, policy makers and entrepreneurs concerned with economic development and the factors that shape and influence it in practice.