There's a stunning element of Africa’s international reduction that's nearly solely missed: seeing that 2013, nearly half Africa’s most sensible relief recipients were governed by way of authoritarian one-party states. Many overseas donors similar to USAID, DFID, the area financial institution, and the eu fee have watched their reduction guidelines changing into more and more entangled with the agendas of governmental elites. the location activates an uncomfortable query: to what volume are international relief courses now really perpetuating authoritarian rule in Africa?
Aid and Authoritarianism in Africa sheds much-needed mild at the ethical dilemmas and political intricacies raised through the toxic dating among overseas reduction and autocratic rule. top specialists at the political events in Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Cameroon, Mozambique, and Angola give a contribution essays that disclose the impression of international reduction on army counsel, rural improvement, electoral procedures, and household politics.
Offering a arguable but an important argument at the perpetuation of authoritarianism in Africa, this publication might be an indispensible source for students and activists attracted to the connection among improvement relief and politics within the modern panorama.
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Additional info for Aid and Authoritarianism in Africa: Development without Democracy
Even as superpower rivalries faded, foreign aid retained a preference for political order and strong government, with democracy and freedom frequently seen as a luxury to be deferred until other, more pressing development problems had been solved. During the heyday of structural adjustment in the 1980s, for example, unpopular economic reforms had to be protected from the demands of an active citizenry, leaving little room for democratic participation and debate. As Depak Lal, an influential figure in the Research Department of the World Bank, put it at the time, ‘a courageous, ruthless and perhaps undemocratic government is required to ride roughshod over newly created interest groups’ (1983: 33).
Liberal democracy in the form of elections, the rule of law and individual rights is undoubtedly valuable and worth fighting for, and it is not my intention to dismiss electoral democracy as unimportant. Nevertheless, it is crucial to recognize how particular understandings and definitions of democracy, despite protestations to the contrary, can end up supporting authoritarian practices. Liberal democracy, like all models of democracy, is linked to social and political contexts and represents specific social and political positions and power relations (Held, 1987; Arblaster, 1999).
Uganda, for example, has periodically encountered the wrath of donors in response to its authoritarian practices and persecution of the opposition, but aid has inevitably been restored to a country that has become a ‘donor darling’ due to its economic liberalization, its successful HIV/AIDS campaign and more recently its support for counterterrorism (Lindemann, 2011; Fisher, 2012). Never mind that Uganda is a de facto one-party system, which according to the Afrobarometer’s surveys has one of the continent’s biggest gaps between citizens’ demand for democracy and its perceived supply (Bratton & Houessou, 2014: 20).
Aid and Authoritarianism in Africa: Development without Democracy