Self-enforcing arrangements are crucial to the study of African political economy. The weakness of formal governance in much of Africa makes understanding informal institutions of cooperation particularly important. I consider the application of self-enforcing arrangements, like those described by the Ostroms, to the problems of violence and social heterogeneity that plague Africa.
This paper takes as a starting point Boettke and Coyne’s argument and uses it as a vehicle in order to focus on one aspect related to the Bloomington research program that was mentioned but not elaborated by them: the applied theory agenda that this program has been inspiring. Specific concentration is placed on one particular facet of that agenda: the issue of economic development policies.
What role is there for government in promoting the economic well-being of citizens within its national boundaries? If one assumes that political authority derives its legitimacy in part from the satisfaction it affords its subjects, then it follows that a "good" government will adopt policies that will enhance the economic well-being of its citizens.