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


  • Kohnert, Dirk


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 are based on doubtful 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, yet poorly rooted in the social and political fabric of the country, but nation-building by national reconciliation, as a pre-condition for the creation of viable state institutions.

Suggested Citation

  • Kohnert, Dirk, 2009. "Democratisation via elections in an African 'narco state'? The case of Guinea-Bissau," MPRA Paper 19109, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:19109

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dani Rodrik & Romain Wacziarg, 2005. "Do Democratic Transitions Produce Bad Economic Outcomes?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 50-55, May.
    2. Tobias Hagmann & Markus V. Hoehne, 2009. "Failures of the state failure debate: Evidence from the Somali territories," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(1), pages 42-57.
    3. repec:taf:ctwqxx:v:29:y:2008:i:8:p:1491-1507 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Collier, Paul, 2006. "Is Aid Oil? An Analysis Of Whether Africa Can Absorb More Aid," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(9), pages 1482-1497, September.
    5. Simeon Djankov & Jose Montalvo & Marta Reynal-Querol, 2008. "The curse of aid," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 169-194, September.
    6. Kohnert, Dirk, 1988. "Socialism without liberation: Land Reclamation Projects in Guinea-Bissau," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 161-175.
    7. Tobias Hagmann & Markus V. Hoehne, 2009. "Erratum: Failures of the state failure debate: Evidence from the Somali territories," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(1), pages 1-1.
    8. Barry, Boubacar-Sid & Gacitua-Mario, Estanislao & Wodon, Quentin, 2007. "Conflict, Livelihoods, and Poverty in Guinea-Bissau: An Overview," MPRA Paper 11115, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Kohnert, Dirk, 2008. "Entfremdung und Ausgrenzung: Afrikas neuer Nationalismus in Zeiten der Globalisierung," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 197-222.
    10. Dirk Kohnert, 2009. "New Nationalism and Development in Africa," Africa Spectrum, Institute of African Affairs, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 44(1), pages 111-123.
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    Cited by:

    1. Miriam Shabafrouz, 2010. "Fuel for Conflict or Balm for Peace? Assessing the Effects of Hydrocarbons on Peace Efforts in Algeria," GIGA Working Paper Series 132, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
    2. Armando Barrientos & Daniel Neff, 2011. "Attitudes to Chronic Poverty in the ‘Global Village’," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 100(1), pages 101-114, January.
    3. Karl Hwang, 2010. "Measuring Geopolitical Power in India: A Review of the National Security Index (NSI)," GIGA Working Paper Series 136, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.

    More about this item


    elections; democratization; informal institutions; aid; failed states; nation-building; institution building; drug trafficking; Guinea-Bissau; Africa;

    JEL classification:

    • N47 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Africa; Oceania
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • E26 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Informal Economy; Underground Economy
    • H76 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Other Expenditure Categories
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • K14 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Criminal Law

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