Bienen's chapter is a welcome contribution to an often neglected aspect of agricultural development policy in Africa. No worthwhile model of agricultural development fails to deal with the interaction of political, economic, and sociocultural variables, especially in connection with food grain production. Bienen concludes that ideology has not been an explanatory factor in the relations between governments and peasants across types of political systems. The experiences of Senegal, Tanzania, and Nigeria, including the political relationships involved, are examined. The overall impression left by the chapter is that violence and political instability are harmful to agricultural development. While this is true, it also would have been useful to recognize the role of violence and political instability in such countries as Namibia and South Africa and to recognize the underlying reasons why political violence occurs. Prescriptions on how to break the vicious cycle of violence once it has been set in motion would have been welcome.
Muleya, Benson Kabeta; Ndegwa, Philip. 1987. Commentaries on Political Considerations, Nationalism, and Development. In Accelerating food production in Sub-Saharan Africa. Chapter 25. Pp. 309-318. In Accelerating food production in Sub-Saharan Africa. Mellor, John W.; Delgado, Christopher L.; Blackie, Malcom J. (Eds.). Baltimore, MD: Published for the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) [by] Johns Hopkins University Press. http://ebrary.ifpri.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15738coll2/id/129433