This policy brief is an introduction to the core concepts of the framework of the ‘political marketplace’ as a system of governance.
Any kind of politics that involves monetary transactions has an element of a political market. In consolidated democracies and ordered authoritarian systems, the political market is subordinate to the rule of law and the rules of institutions. But in other parts of the world—many countries in Africa and the Greater Middle East—that hierarchy is reversed: government is dominated by monetized transactional politics. This is not changing—we are not seeing the emergence of institutionalized states. Rather, we are seeing the entrenchment of political marketplaces, well-adapted to the political survival of skillful political business managers, in a turbulent world.
Dominant political science frameworks for weak and fragile states address the question, ‘how can these countries make a transition to orderly, institutional states?’ The political marketplace framework deals with the questions, ‘how do these governance systems function today? How do external interventions effect the actual political system over the short term?’
de Waal, A. JSRP Policy Brief 1. Introduction to the Political Marketplace for Policymakers. Justice and Security Research Programme, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), London, UK (2016) 6 pp.