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Rethinking Democracy and Development: A Minor Field Study of the Political sphere in Rwanda
Halmstad University, School of Social and Health Sciences (HOS).
2011 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Purpose and Questions: There seem to exist diametrically different views regarding Rwanda’s political sphere, whether the country has made any progress at all since the 90s, and if they have been successful in establishing democracy or not. A field study was therefore carried out, plus additional research to get a more comprehensive view of the political sphere of Rwanda. The purpose of the field study was to experience and analyse the political ambiance and developments by personal experience and interview people on the ground, rather then just rely on books, media and other academics, in order to clarify if the country is progressing or not. These questions guided my research:

Has Rwanda been successful in establishing democracy, in terms of fulfilling the criteria’s that constitutes “polyarchy”?

- What are the democracy attitudes of the citizens? Has Rwanda made any progress at all the last decade (not just politically, but socio- economically as well), in other words is the country undergoing a modernization process?

Method: This research took its first step in a minor field study (MFS), conducted in Rwanda in the summer of 2010, and later as field research again in February/ March of 2011. In order to fulfil the purpose this research undertook both qualitative and quantitative methods, in a two-part analysis, in which there are a total of one qualitative part and two more quantitative parts.

Results and Conclusion: The analysis shows that Rwanda is progressing, not just politically, but socio-economically as well. The qualitative part shows that some political and civic rights seem to be curtailed, but it is important to remember the legacy of a genocide. The survey however shows that over half of the respondents believe (to some extent) that democratic principles are being respected, and that there exist political pluralism and political space in Rwanda. The genocaidaires could come back to power through democratic practices, therefore it is important that things develop carefully and that a strong leadership rules the country. The government has really managed to bring Rwanda back up on its feet and the country is clearly progressing. Rwanda can serve as a model for other countries to follow. Despite the war and ethnic diversity Rwanda has come a long way. The country seem to have established some form of democratic principles, not the same as we have in the West off course, but maybe they can’t and shouldn’t follow the models of the West since they have their own special context they have to live up to.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 61 p.
Keyword [en]
Democracy, Authoritarian, Development, Modernization, Progress.
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-15751OAI: diva2:429141
Subject / course
Political Science
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2011-09-16 Created: 2011-07-03 Last updated: 2011-09-16Bibliographically approved

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Spencer, Petra
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