Friday, 11 May 2018

The elephant in the room - article

I've recently published an article with Third World Quarterly entitled "The elephant in the room: offshore companies, liberalisation and the extension of presidential power in DR Congo" (39 (5), pp889-905)

I'm copying an abstract below; the full article can be accessed here:

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, donors promoted rapid liberalisation and presidential elections in the aftermath of the war, and after two terms, President Kabila has not left office. This article engages with the question of how liberalisation and elections are connected, and how they are related to the extension of presidential power. It finds that the international market for minerals has shaped the domestic political economy but its nature has effectively been ignored in the formulation of donor policy; efforts at regulating trade have been concentrated on due diligence of origin in Congo but have not addressed the secrecy of international trade. Liberalisation has removed control of economic resources from Congo, provided returns for elite politicians, and funded violence to control the disenfranchised population. The off-shore companies are the elephant in the room; without acknowledging them, analysis of the liberalisation and its interaction with presidential tenure lacks assessment of the opportunities, interests and power that shaped the processes.

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