Democratization via Elections in an African “Narco-state”? The Case of Guinea-Bissau
Recent development cooperation with Guinea-Bissau, focusing on good governance, statebuilding and conflict prevention, did not contribute to democratization nor to the stabilization of volatile political, military and economic structures. The portrayal of Guinea- Bissau as a failed “narco-state”, as well as Western aid meant to stabilize this state, are both based on dubious concepts. 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 that is poorly rooted in the social and political fabric of the country. Rather, it is grassroots nation-building that is a pre-condition for the creation of viable state institutions.
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