Review of “Executive Supremacy and the Armed Forces, A case Study of Public Finance Management in Malawi”

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Chapter review by Sainala Kalebe

Chapter 10 – Executive Supremacy and the Armed Forces, A case Study of Public Finance Management in Malawi, by Mphatso Jones Boti Phiri (pp. 242 – 255)

The chapter scrutinizes the context of Public Finance Management in the Malawi Defense Force (MDF). It first dwells on the concept of good governance concerning how a military is run in a country and also looks at the institutional framework for oversight of the military. In the analysis, a historical institutional approach is taken and brings to light the institutional challenges in the relationship between the MDF, the Executive, and the Legislature as oversight institutions.

The chapter rightly portrays an unbalanced relationship among these institutions, with the executive being more dominant in oversight of the Malawi Defense Force. The legislature, on the other hand, lacks the capacity to effectively oversee Public Finance Management in MDF. The chapter suggests a need for improvement, particularly where the role of the Head of State is concerned with the running of the military and also the ability of the legislature to effectively provide oversight on the budgetary allocations on defense spending.  

All in all, the book chapter is very informative to those wanting to understand institutional frameworks and Public Finance Management.

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