Comparative Politics

Subject: Political
Type: Analytical Essay
Pages: 7
Word count: 1721
Topics: Foreign Policy, Government, Macroeconomics

Table of Contents

Various factors affect a countries ability to transition from low economic gains to economic prosperity. The challenges can emanate from political, economic, and social factors. A combination of facets in the political, economic, and social factors are blamed for state failure in most countries across the globe. Aspects that impede plausibility of economic progress hallmark state failure. Politics is one of the main factors that play a pertinent role in states’ failure. A failed state is a nation where deteriorating governance leads to necessary dysfunctional facilities and conditions that foster non-existence of sovereignty. In a failed state, the standards of living are extremely low, the basic requirements of health, hygiene, and means of livelihood are absent, the security of citizens, and their property is unavailable. Failed states have several characteristics, such as no control over the territory, erosion of judicial system and legitimate authorities, and inability to provide basic public utilities. Other states and a country do not interact with local warring factions (FFP). Based on a case analysis of Angola, Mozambique, Ghana, and Czech Republic it is clear that the combination of misappropriated regulation and corruption leads to the state failure and the reduction of the plausibility of economic progress.

Regulations are a form of government intervention in the markets in a bid to achieve certain set objectives. These regulations can be industry specific affecting specific sectors of the economy such as energy, oil, and gas industries that are closely related to the environment. Conversely, regulations can also be a market, financial, trade, and tariffs. For example, global financial markets have become more regulated after the 2008 financial crisis. Through the IMF governments developed policies preventing future crisis considering the following three perceptions that include taking a system-wide view and addressing market catastrophes and externalities; improving motivations for market members, other observers, and regulatory agencies. 

Governments often use regulations to protect local industries, when a special tariff/duty is allocated to imports to protect a local producer. However, over regulation by exceptionally high import duties may cause imported products to be more expensive and thus not able to compete in a local market. Moreover, governments also often place regulatory policies to control business activities. “Of those affecting business, some regulatory policies set standards for products, others require disclosures, and still, others limit certain companies from engaging in practices that give them something close to a monopoly in a particular market” (Barrington 358). Additionally, governments also impose financial regulations through tax codes and incentives to spur economic development and create a balance between the various sectors of the economy. For instance, government regulation in Mozambique has robbed the country economic viability and competitiveness by creating an inefficient and burdensome environment. 

The Mozambique government controls important sectors of the economy including major enterprises leading to high unemployment rates. According to Heritage Foundation, Mozambique has an index economic freedom score of 48.4%, and it is ranked 118 in the world regarding economic openness. A cumbersome bureaucracy dissuades potential entrepreneurs such as direct foreign investment and interferes with vivacious flows of products in Mozambique. Conversely, Czech Republic has an index economic freedom score of 68.1% and is ranked 28th regarding economic openness. Business start-up processes have been rationalized, and a relatively well-organized tax regime facilitates business growth in the Czech Republic (“FP Czech Republic”). With candidness to international trade and investment fully established, the Czech Republic has one of the lowest job loss rates in the European Union, which stands at 4.5% (“FP Czech Republic”).

On the other hand, Corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain, and it can be in the form of a grant, petty and political. In a corrupt state, national resources that are meant to benefit the citizens are diverted into the pockets of government officials instead of channeling them to development projects. When officials pocket revenues or fees, they cause a deficit to the financial resources of the state. Mozambique and Angola demonstrate the problems a corrupt system of government can cause and when coupled with their misappropriated regulatory environment. According to Transparency International, Mozambique is ranked 142/176 with a score of 22/100 in its published Corruption Perceptions Index in 2016. Similarly, Angola is ranked 164/176 with a score of 18/100. However, Czech Republic is ranked 47/176 with a score of 55/100 indicating a systematic adherence to reducing corruption and utilization of state’s economic systems to the benefits of as many citizens as possible. 


To establish how corruption and misappropriated regulations lead to state failure and reduction if plausible economic progress, both qualitative and quantitative data analysis methods were used. One of the methods used to establish failing states is the existing human development ocio-cultural indicators. Fragile State Index is used to determine the performance of failing states regarding human development socio-cultural indicators. Fragile State Index indicate that most of the failing states are married with destructive actions such as ineffective governance led by corruption. It also has increased in crime as well violence forcing the displacement of the population, ethnic conflicts and destabilizing intervention from external forces and competition among local groups thus amplifying the costs of central governments and the pace with which they later collapsed (Bates 76). A low score in the Fragile State Index score indicates countries high instability state owing to poor governance, misappropriated regulation, and corruption. Angola, Ghana and Mozambique rank, 42nd, 100th and 46th in the 2015 index respectively indicating high instability in governance and in dealing with social problems affecting the society. On the other hand, the Czech Republic ranks 154th which is in the category of a highly stable country. 

The another metric used to measure the country’s ability to achieve transition status is the Fragile States Index using the three axes parameters; the analytical platform on comprehensive social science methodology, employs Social Indicators, Economic, Political, and Military Indicators. From the three axes, parameters metrics such as Individual freedom and collective equality, Liberty and Security and Private ownership and collective distribution are deduced. A score of 1 indicates low levels while 10 indicate a high standard of quality of life.

When using Individual freedom and collective equality metric, Angola, Mozambique, and Ghana have scores of 3, 5, and 6respectively while the Czech Republic has a score of 7 indicating high standards in quality of life. Relative peace exists in Mozambique and Ghana, but political instability exists in Angola.  On the other hand, in the Liberty and Security metric, Angola, Mozambique, and Ghana have a score of 3, 5 and 5 respectively. The Ghana’s low score is attributed to incidents of terrorism attack in the recent past. However, Angola and Mozambique have been experiencing internal civil tensions leading to Strained liberty and safety for minority groups (“Mozambique IMF”). Conversely, Czech Republic has a score of 7 in the liberty and security metric despite the influx of Syrian and African refugees in the country. The refugees have degraded the quality of life and placed citizens at a higher risk (“FP Czech Republic”). 

Regarding Private ownership and collective distribution of property, Angola, Mozambique, and Ghana have scores of 4, 5 and five respectively. Mozambique and Ghana has a relative distribution of wealth among the citizens. However, Angola has a high concentration of wealth among few individuals in the country despite being rich in mineral resources such as diamond, oil, and gold, copper. On the other hand, Czech Republic has a score of 7 with tremendous achievement in private entrepreneurship and ownership of property. 

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In the analysis, the case of Angola will be used to demystify how regulation and corruption impede a country from an achiveing status of transition. Angola is characterized by severe problems of food scarcity, internally displaced people, and high mortality rates (child mortality rate per 1000 live birth numbers for 2014 are 172.60; 2015-167.40 and 2016-156.90). Moreover, the concentration of power in the social elite, and collective equality and political freedom are absent (“Angola IMF”). Bakongo refugee, Ovimbundu guerrilla, Umbundu, and several other groups fight with each other and hold small territories where their power is supreme. The civil tension and concentration of power in the social elite lead to strained liberty and safety for minority groups.

Although there has been a decrease in the poverty level and a reduction in the unemployment rate in Angola, the country has a small degree of political rights, civil liberties, and a very high mortality rate and poverty ratio showing the states inability to transition. Corruption and nepotism are very prevalent in Angola with the President Jose Eduardo dos Santos appointing his son Jose Filomento dos Santos as the Sovereign Fund Chairman and recently his daughter Isabel dos Santos as the Chairwoman of Sonangol, the national oil company and known as the country’s most valuable asset. Activists who try to question repressive government policies are arrested,  convicted and detained through deeply politicized trials (“Tracey McVeigh”). Media freedom is also curtailed in Angola to ensure that the ill deeds of the government to do not reach the public limelight. 

In contrary, the Czech Republic has a high level of globalization, individual freedom, and collective equality: making it a democracy with a high degree of personal liberty and mutual justice. Civil liberties, political rights, and democracy index have enabled the Czech Republic to remain economically viable. Similarly, Ghana just like the Czech Republic has a high index score regarding civil liberties, political rights, and democracy indicating that it is on a better path to reach the status of a transition state. However, Angola and Mozambique have low index score in the same metric indicating that they are a far away from achieving transition status. 

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  1. Angola IMF. “Angola Indicators.” International Monetary Fund, 2017. 
  2. Barrington, Lowell. Comparative Politics. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2013.
  3. Bates, Robert. When Things Fell Apart State Failure in Late-Century Africa. Cambridge University Press, 2015.
  4. FP Czech Republic. Country Profile Czech Republic. Foreign Policy, 2017. 
  5. FP Mozambique. Country Profile Mozambique. Foreign Policy, 2017. 
  6. FP Ghana. Country Profile Ghana. Foreign Policy, 2017. 
  7. Ghana IMF. “Ghana Indicators.” International Monetary Fund, 2017. 
  8. “Ghana Economy: Population, GDP, Inflation, Business, Trade …” The Heritage Foundation, 21 Apr. 2017.
  9. “Mozambique Economy: Population, GDP, Inflation, Business …” The Heritage Foundation, 21 Apr. 2017.
  10. “Transparency International – YouTube.” YouTube. N.p., 21 Apr. 2017.
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