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Could somebody please help me with the following sentence:

Instead of having to 'buy out' rent-seeking strong men as the fledging national regimes in Africa had to do, they could at first command authority and resources to a degree sufficient to protect policy-makers from clients demanding payouts.

[NB: the speech marks are in the original text]

Intuitively, I'd say that buy out means bribe, but I've looked it up in different dictionaries and didn't find this meaning.

(I found: pay sb out = 1. pay sb for their share in a business; 2. pay money so that sb can leave an organization; 3. purchase the entire stock. To me, none of them seems appropriate)

What's the the meaning of buy out? Do the inverted commas change it?

Thank you in advance!
Comments  
pay off= bribe

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buy out

Function: transitive verb

1 : to purchase the share or interest of (as in a partnership) <in spite of the disagreement he would neither buy out his partner nor sell out to him>
2 : to purchase the entire stock in trade and the goodwill of (a business) or the entire holdings in real estate of (a group)
3 : to buy off


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Thank you Marius!

So, if I understand correctly, buy out = buy off = bribe.

Why do the author use the speech marks?

(BTW, it's buy out, not pay off)
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Tanit So, if I understand correctly, buy out = buy off = bribe.
Where did I say that?

This is the meaning you're looking after, IMO:

buy out
2 : to purchase the entire stock in trade and the goodwill of (a business) or the entire holdings in real estate of (a group)
Marius Hancu----------
buy out

Function: transitive verb

...

3 : to buy off

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Did I misunderstand? I've found:

buy off =

to pay sb money, especially dishonestly, to prevent them from doing sth you do not want them to do (Oxford Advanced Learners)

This is a kind of bribe, isn't it?

And no, n. 2 doesn't fit.
2 fits very well. They paid/bought out the farmers (strong men=landowners) to leave their properties. That's it.
That's what the author used and what I would recommend.

I never made the logical connection between buy off and bribe. Read again.
I am going to stop the discussion here. For me, things are clear.
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
I'm pretty sure it's not n.2.

Anyway, thank you very much for your help.