Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Cecil V. Crabb, Jr


The principal concern of this study is to assess the influence of military and civilian regimes on public policy in sub-Saharan Africa. The key question underlying this research is: Does it make any difference for a country to be governed by a military or civilian government? Some research indicate that regime type does have policy implications, while others suggest that it does not. To determine the linkage (if any) between regime type and public policy four general hypothesis concerning regime effect on public policy are articulated. There are: (H$\sb1$) Defense expenditure should be higher in countries where the military controls the policy-making institutions than in those where they do not. (H$\sb2$) Military rule will be negatively correlated with variables indicating budgetary allocations to economic and social sectors, whereas civilian rule will have the opposite effect. (H$\sb3$) Within any given African country, changes in regime type should be associated with shifts in the pattern of spending priorities exhibited by that country. (H$\sb4$) Socioeconomic development in the emerging nations of sub-Saharan Africa is more likely to occur under military led regimes that are predisposed to modernization than under regimes headed by civilians who are similarly predisposed. Three quantitative methods of analysis--the Multiple Interrupted Time Series (MITS) design, a "pooled" analysis of differences of means and "simple country" analysis--are utilized to evaluate regime performance in several sub-Saharan African countries. More detailed analysis of the impact of regime type on public policy is provided with case studies of regime performances in Ghana, Liberia and Nigeria. The Ghana case study deals with the linkage between regime type and agricultural productivity. In Liberia, government policies as they relate to foreign affairs is examined. The case study of Nigeria deals with the impact of regime type on industrial development. The picture that emerges from this analysis suggests that most military and civilian regimes in sub-Saharan Africa are indistinguishable in terms of economic policy outputs and outcomes. However, there is one category of public expenditure in which there is a clear distinction between the two regime types--defense spending.