Journal Article
Varieties of Capitalists? The Middle–Class, Private Sector and Economic Outcomes in Africa

Recent increases in the size of African middle classes have excited speculation about the economic implications of these developments. This review paper argues that to understand these, we must first interrogate our analytic assumptions about the middle class and its relationship to the private sector across the continent. Africa's middle classes are born out of a different relationship with the private sector than classical theories suggest. Rather than one, homogenous middle class (or private sector), there are multiple kinds, and hence, many of our universalizing analytic assumptions about the character of that class—and its likely economic impact—may not hold.

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