The Politics of Educational Inequality in Ghana
50 Pages Posted: 29 Sep 2014
Date Written: July 11, 2014
This paper explores the politics of public spending and its role in underpinning the educational dimensions of regional inequality in Ghana. Contrary to the prevailing wisdom that African governments provide more funds to regions that support them politically, evidence here shows that the manner in which regional elites are incorporated into ruling coalitions, and the extent to which such forms of incorporation shape their influence over resource allocation decisions are more critical in shaping the spatial patterns of public spending than regional voting patterns per se. Consequently, the electoral strongholds of a ruling regime can suffer from sustained socio-economic exclusion if elites who directly represent their interests within ruling coalitions are not part of the ‘inner-circle’ of political decision-makers. This argument offers important insights for understanding why the increased social spending associated with the newly democratizing states in Africa may not always lead to a reduction of the spatial dimensions of inequality.
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