REGIONAL MARKET SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT AND CHANGES IN RELATIONS OF PRODUCTION IN THREE COMMUNITIES IN ZINDER PROVINCE, THE NIGER REPUBLIC.
AuthorARNOULD, ERIC JOHN.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractA model for the explanation of socioeconomic change in West Africa is presented, and tested with data from Zinder province, Niger Republic. A Marxist social formation analysis provides a model of change and continuity in peripheral, precapitalist modes of production, and of economic causality. A regional marketing systems analysis elaborates on the effects of exchange systems upon production systems and suggests quantitative data by which the Marxist model is tested. Marketing arrangements in Niger are discussed. An analysis of the Nigerien economy is presented. The way French, EEC, and Nigerien government policies have shaped the extraversion, mercantilism, and dependence of the economy is clarified. Then, the manipulation of exchange and production within Niger by state marketing agencies is explored. A regional systems analysis of marketing in Zinder province is carried out, including the system's history since precolonial times. The modern systems are described with price correlations, commodity flows, mobile trader circuits and strategies, and consumer behavior. Marketing and relations of production and reproduction in three communities, an agricultural village, a pottery-producing one, and a handicraft tannery were linked. Variations in household morphology and task performance, in gandu and master-apprentice workshop organization, in specialization in output, and in exchange and distribution of resources are related to the hierarchical position and functions of markets in which each community has participated historically. The key hypothesis was confirmed: local modes of production are now articulated with the modern world system. However, local modes have not been completely transformed from their antecedents. The structure of exchange makes it advantageous for foreign entrepreneurs and the Nigerien government to allow local modes to persist, while decapitalization, and tenacious political and reproductive relationships discourage transformation from below. By adding a regional systems perspective to a social formation analysis, a rich and testable description of the factors both facilitating and impeding changes in articulated modes of production was obtained.