Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Vom Camarade Zum Monsieur: Strukturanpassung Und Demokratisierung in Benin

Kohnert, Dirk and Preuss, Hans-Joachim (1992): Vom Camarade Zum Monsieur: Strukturanpassung Und Demokratisierung in Benin. Published in: Peripherie No. 46 (1992): pp. 47-70.


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The process of political and economic liberalisation in Benin is regarded as a model for the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa. Benin made history by becoming the first African country to overthrow a military dictator by democratic means. The civilian coup d'état cleared the way for economic recovery, too. The strengthening of democratic institutions, and the good will of the new government of the former high ranking World Bank-employee Soglo, to follow the recommendations of the structural adjustment program have been honoured by the donors' generosity. The recovery of the economy, however, was hampered by the underlying fabric of the socio-cultural structure of clientelism and patronage, which resulted in a situation in which the on-going structural adjustment program mainly served the vested interests of the state class and rival strategic groups, bargaining for the booty of increasing development assistance. Thus, socio-economic conditions for a self-sustaining development process and, consequently, increased development assistance are not yet met. Nevertheless, areas of co-operation do exist in the fields of liberty of press and opinion, basic needs and self-help organizations.

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