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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A Review and Exploration of the Status, Context and Political Economy of Power Sector Reforms in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America


This paper provides an overview of market-oriented power sector reforms in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Latin America over the past twenty-five years. The role of political economy contextualities in driving, constraining or otherwise influencing power sector reform is explored through a review of the essential literature. Though this literature is considered to have considerably expanded the scope of understanding around power sector reform and development, political economy research in the area is found to be lacking in methodological coherence and theoretical substance. Future efforts are needed to systematically bring together the array of insights, methodological approaches and recommendations in this literature, as well as better bound, differentiate and systemise political economy research in the area going forward. Two initial frameworks are advanced through this paper in relation to this dual research imperative.

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