Journal Special Issue
The Political Economy of Africa's Emergent Middle Class

This special issue introduction provides a historical perspective in order to contextualize the political economy of Africa’s emergent middle class. In doing so, three overarching research questions are discussed to better understand the middle class’ transformative potential. First, who constitute Africa’s middle class and how has this concept changed over time? Second, what dynamics explain the growth of this group? Third, what are the implications of the middle class for good governance and pro-poor policies? The contributions of each of the articles in the special issue to answering these specific questions for Africa’s contemporary middle class are then briefly discussed.

Table of contents
  1. 1. The Political Economy of Africa's Emergent Middle Class: Retrospect and Prospects
    Danielle Resnick
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  2. 2. Matching Concepts With Measurement: Who Belongs to Africa's Middle Class?
    James Thurlow, Danielle Resnick and Dumebi Ubogu
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  3. 3. Varieties of Capitalists? The Middle–Class, Private Sector and Economic Outcomes in Africa
    Antoinette Handley
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    More Working Paper | Varieties of Capitalists?
  4. 4. The Rise of a Middle Class in East and Southern Africa: Implications for Food System Transformation
    David Tschirley, Thomas Reardon, Michael Dolislager and Jason Snyder
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    More Working Paper | The Rise of a Middle Class in East and Southern Africa
  5. 5. “No Bourgeoisie, No Democracy”? The Political Attitudes of the Kenyan Middle Class
    Nic Cheeseman
    More Working Paper | Does the African Middle Class Defend Democracy?
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  6. 6. South Africa's Emerging Black Middle Class: A Harbinger of Political Change?
    Robert Mattes
    More Working Paper | South Africa’s Emerging Black Middle Class
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  7. 7. The Middle Class and Democratic Consolidation in Zambia
    Danielle Resnick
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