Latest Issue

The captured state

Elites in the Asian tiger countries run the state in the public interest. In most of Africa, elites run the state in their own interests. Matthew Lockwood has written the best Africa book this year

By Richard Dowden   August 2005

The State They’re In by Matthew Lockwood (ITDG Publishing, £12.95)

Of the many books that have crossed my desk in this year of Africa—Geldof on Africa, Sachs on poverty, the Commission for Africa report—at last here is one that hits the bullseye.

Matthew Lockwood worked in the development aid business for 20 years and wants to know why it is not working in Africa. For decades, aid donors have tried carrots, sticks and a host of measures in between to try to get development moving in Africa. They failed. Have aid donors done something wrong? Is there something that works…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect