Each of the four frames of the state, much like the parts of a body, performs at once its own local functions and works in concert with the rest to keep the whole purring along. Any damage to one means trouble for the others; and when the accumulation of deficiencies becomes greater than the assets, the state and its society are confronted with major problems. Put more precisely, in addition to the vitality of the frames, the degree of health or morbidity of the state is also conditioned by its history, endowments of its society, including its nature and its culture, and the vagaries of regional and transnational circumstances.

Such a configuration of frames and forces produces different state forms that, in turn, have consequences for the seminal project of development. States, for the Samatars, come in many guises (see Figure 1.2). For the sake of parsimony, however, one could offer a spectrum that registers five possible types that vary from, at one extreme, the highly effective – integral, to its opposite, the dead – cadaverous. The primary distinguishing factors include (a) the wholeness of each frame; (b) the degree of coordination; and (c) the depth of interior attachments to fellowship and collective realization.


Since no state is immune to the vicissitudes that result from the jostling among individuals as well as larger social forces, a quintessential element of human historicity, an integral state is, for Gramsci as for the Samatars, emblematic of a moment of delicate balance, serving to build up a mentality of collective stake-holding and exude hope. For us, and most specifically for Herman, such a stakeholding arises out of a combination of direct democracy, ongoing interaction and discussion, processes of individuation, and purposeful engagement with a big picture.

Forms of State

Figure 1.2 Forms of State

Not only, then, does Gramsci's integral state succeed in delivering public goods but, particularly important, the leadership generates a degree of moral and intellectual bonding with the citizens. This "organic" affiliation is central to the establishment of the "national-popular". Africa as such, for the Samatars, has yet to produce an integral state.


If such a state, then, is the guardian of an integral polity and general prosperity, a developmental state is the next best project. In this context, the state is conspicuously activist in both the improvement of human capital and the enhancement of the productive forces and national accumulation. But, as has often been the record, achievements in the economic and social realms may come at the cost of civic pluralism and basic liberties. Specifically, nature and culture may suffer at the hands of society and economy. Because the developmental state is primarily driven by ambition to quickly mollify external and domestic vulnerabilities of the society, such a singular attention leaves little room for open dissent and debate.

In the end, a developmental state is visibly Janus-faced – impressive in marshalling resources and building economic capacity, but relatively less attentive to the creation of an ambience conducive to, as per Herman, republican individuation. Moreover, and in acute cases, heavy disincentives are presented to those who dare to disagree or insist on moral autonomy. There are exceptions to the discrepancy between development and democracy, as the case of Botswana demonstrates. The Botswana state has been Africa's premier developmental state. Despite the shackles inherited from British colonialism, the state qualitatively transformed its society from a South African labour reserve to one of the fastest growing economies in the world for the better part of the last 35 years. Botswana maintained genuine commitment to liberal democracy since independence. This blending of development and democracy makes Botswana unique among developmental states. Botswana has some of the, most specifically political and economic, ingredients necessary for establishing an integral state.

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