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Democratisation via elections in an African 'narco state'? The case of Guinea-Bissau

Kohnert, Dirk (2009): Democratisation via elections in an African 'narco state'? The case of Guinea-Bissau.

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Abstract

Recent development cooperation with Guinea-Bissau, focussing on good governance, state-building and conflict prevention, did not contribute to democratization nor to the stabilization of volatile political, military and economic structures. Both the portrayal of Guinea-Bissau as failed ‘narco state' as well as Western aid meant to stabilize this state by multi-party elections are based on doubtful concepts and assumptions. Certainly, the impact of drug trafficking could endanger democratization and state-building if continued unchecked. However, the most pressing need is not state-building, facilitated by external aid, yet poorly rooted in the social and political fabric of the country, but nation-building from below as a pre-condition for the creation of viable state institutions.

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