A large literature investigates the institutional legacies of European colonialism around the world. However, in linking contemporary outcomes to colonial antecedents, most works seldom identify specific institutions or their temporal evolution. This article examines the institutional legacies of colonialism in Africa through the lens of colonial legislatures. Cross-country analyses show that the correlation between colonial antecedents and contemporary measures of legislative institutionalization is tenuous at best and sensitive to measurement. A comparative study of legislative development in Ghana and Kenya explains likely causes of the mixed legacies of colonial legislatures. Beyond colonial institutional design, temporal variation in intralegislative factional politics explains legislative development in the two countries. This article highlights the importance of understanding the specific mechanisms behind colonial institutional persistence and change.
Journal of Historical Political Economy, Volume 2, Issue 1 Special Issue - Historical Persistence, Part II: Articles Overview
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