Promoting democracy in Africa: case study of the Democratic Republic of Congo : challenges in the field: implementing or building democracy?

Thumbnail Image
Vahtras, Tiina
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The end of the Cold War initiated a wave of democratisation that had an impact on the agendas of the international and regional donor agencies. Democracy was from then on considered as the only best form of political organisation, a logical end to all nations, which in practice meant that undemocratic countries were expected to launch democratic reforms in order to get international assistance and donors themselves started to provide democracy assistance. Despite the optimism of the 1990s it soon became clear that some isolated reforms do not create real democracy and number of failures and only formally democratic countries increased. In order to achieve substantial changes it is important to revise the policies that international donors have pursued and search for the new ways for the establishing of sustainable democracy. One of the new trends that is starting to take shape in the democracy assistance is the accommodation of democratic principles to the needs and concrete realities of a particular country. The focus is shifting from the implementation to the building of democracy. The Democratic Republic of Congo that has almost no democratic experience in the past has recently come out of a series of conflicts and initiated a process of democratisation. Country is assisted by numerous international donors, but how is the assistance provided? This thesis investigates further the initiatives that have been launched in order to see if they can positively contribute to a serious turn in country’s history.
Second semester University: KU Leuven.
democratisation, Congo, human rights, reconstruction, Democratic Republic of the Congo