"Post-Conflict" Democratization in Central Africa: An Anatomy of Failure Politique étrangère, Vol. 84, No. 2, Summer 2019
To create a political shift that draws a line under conflict once and for all, it is not always enough to draft a democratic constitution and call elections.
In the DRC and the Central African Republic, the old elites remain in power, and seemingly functional institutions merely project a semblance of democracy. International actors tend towards dogmatic approaches that fail to engage seriously with the long-term process of rebuilding civil society. Democracy cannot be imposed by foreign decree.
Thierry Vircoulon is a Research Associate at the Sub-Saharan Africa Program and teaches at Sciences-Po Paris.