18 Pages Posted: 13 Dec 2003
Under Benin's neo-patrimonial multi-party democracy, political continuity and social peace have been achieved at the cost of political immobilism. Major reform projects have advanced very slowly at best, relying heavily on donor-financed expertise and external pressure. At the same time, poorly co-ordinated and rather clientelistic aid has been a major factor in limiting the coherence of government action. This article suggests that it would be unrealistic and even dangerous, under these conditions, to expect very much very fast from the PRSP approach in Benin. The 'regime change' that is called for will require at least a substantial shift in donor behaviour, coordinated progress with stalled public management reforms and a step-change in the politics of reform in the country.
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