Financial subordination and uneven financialization in 21st century Africa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Published copy (DOI)



Publication details

JournalCommunity development journal
DateAccepted/In press - 21 Aug 2020
DatePublished (current) - 21 Oct 2020
Number of pages22
Pages (from-to)1-22
Original languageEnglish


The financialization debate has not paid enough attention to the African continent. The continent’s populations and governments have found creative ways of dealing with the capitalist world market and political power relations since decolonization in the late 1950s. However, several forms of structural dependence and subordination persist. We ask in this article how the global process of financialization has unfolded across the continent and what it means for relations of dependence. We understand financialization as the global expansion of financial practices, and, in particular, the financial sector, that followed the end of the Bretton Woods era. We consider to what extent it has occurred at all in the four case study countries of Mauritius, Nigeria, Zambia, and South Africa. The empirical analysis of aggregate country data shows that financialization is, at best, an uneven and patchy process on the continent, not a general structural shift in the way capital accumulation is organized. Rather, where financialization occurred, it appears to have diversified the relations of dependence that states, corporations, and populations have found themselves in.

Bibliographical note

© Oxford University Press and Community Development Journal 2020. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.

Discover related content

Find related publications, people, projects, datasets and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations