Democratization Via Elections in an African 'Narco-State'? The Case of Guinea-Bissau
GIGA Working Paper No 123
25 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2010 Last revised: 17 Aug 2012
Date Written: February 15, 2010
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.
Keywords: Guinea-Bissau, elections, democratization, informal institutions, aid, nationbuilding, institution building, drug trafficking
JEL Classification: D72, E26, N47, O17, Z1
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation