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Simpson and Hawkins set Zimbabwe’s experience within the wider phenomenon of fragile/failed states. The authors review international evidence on the positive links between state effectiveness, state legitimacy, economic growth and poverty reduction. They argue such links provide essential insights into the causes and nature of Zimbabwe’s uniquely negative experience, characterised by economic destruction and poverty production rather than growth and poverty reduction. Attention is drawn to literature on the role of effective state bureaucracies in triggering both economic growth and development through nurturing of markets, the importance of removing obstacles to the participation of the poor in the economy, the role of the rule of law, the significance of social and fiscal contracts and the credibility and predictability of state policies, all features that became increasingly conspicuous by their absence in Zimbabwe.
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- The Economics of State Fragility
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