Congo Masquerade: The Political Culture of Aid Inefficiency and Reform Failure

Overview

Congo Masquerade is about mismanagement, hypocrisy,and powerlessness in what has proved to be one of Africa's most troublesome and volatile states. In this scathing study of catastrophic aid inefficiency, Trefon argues that while others have examined war and plunder in the Great Lakes region, none have yet evaluated the imported "template format" reform package pieced together to introduce democracy and improve the well-being of ordinary Congolese. It has, the book demonstrates, been for years an almost ...

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Congo Masquerade: The Political Culture of Aid Inefficiency and Reform Failure

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Overview

Congo Masquerade is about mismanagement, hypocrisy,and powerlessness in what has proved to be one of Africa's most troublesome and volatile states. In this scathing study of catastrophic aid inefficiency, Trefon argues that while others have examined war and plunder in the Great Lakes region, none have yet evaluated the imported "template format" reform package pieced together to introduce democracy and improve the well-being of ordinary Congolese. It has, the book demonstrates, been for years an almost unmitigated failure due to the ingrained political culture of corruption among the Congolese elite, abetted by the complicity and incompetence of international partners.
 
Startling and provocative, Congo Masquerade offers a critical examination of why aid is not helping the Congo.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The Trefon volume is indispensable reading for all those interested in post-conflict state-building.  He provides a devastating critique of how the large international investment in this project in DR Congo has fallen far short, through the failings both of the external parties and the Congolese political elite." — Professor Crawford Young, University of Wisconsin
 
"Trefon's sweeping survey of reconstruction efforts in Congo, from bridge repairs to security sector reform, delivers a stinging indictment of both the Congolese government and its international partners, leaving no one unscathed.  Sure to create controversy, this book makes for a compelling read and calls for an understanding of Congo and the Congolese on their own terms." — Professor Pierre Englebert, Pomona College 
 

"Written in simple prose and short chapters, this book will provide a more convincing explanation of what is happening in the Congo than most other books available today. It should be mandatory reading for all those who are concerned with the country or are involved in efforts to reform the state and spur development." — Professor Patrick Chabal, Kings College London

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781848138360
  • Publisher: Zed Books
  • Publication date: 11/8/2011
  • Series: African Arguments Series
  • Pages: 153
  • Sales rank: 789,218
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Theodore Trefon (PhD, Boston University) has worked on the politics and anthropology of state-society relations in Congo/Zaire for more than 25 years. He has published numerous books and articles on the subject, including Re-inventing Order in the Congo: How people respond to state failure in Kinshasa (London: Zed Books (ed.), 2004). Before joining the Royal Museum for Central Africa where he directs the Contemporary History Section, he served as project manager for the development branch of the European Commission and consultant to USAID, the Centre for International Forestry Research, UNESCO, CARE, the World Bank, and private consultancy firms. He has been appointed expert to the International Criminal Court and contributing editor to Review of African Political Economy. He has lectured at the Catholic University of Leuven and Congolese universities in Kinshasa and Kisangani.

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Table of Contents

Preface and acknowledgements
The crocodile and the scorpion: a parable
Timeline
Chapter 1: Why state-building is not working
Chapter 2: The political economy of broken promises
Chapter 3: An unrealistic reform patchwork
Chapter 4: The administrative juggernaut
Chapter 5: Culture matters
Chapter 6: Conclusion
Bibliography

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