Democratization in Malawi: Responding to International and Domestic Pressures

In: African and Asian Studies
View More View Less
  • 1 Department of Political Science, Centre for the Resolution of International Conflict, University of Copenhagen

Purchase instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):

€29.95$34.95

Abstract

Donors hope that their foreign aid can be influential, far beyond the development projects that they fund. Frequently, aid providers attach political conditions to their monies in the hope that these demands can serve as catalysts to improve the governance in the recipient. This is called a political conditionality approach. Few countries have felt the weight of conditionality as much as Malawi did in the 1990s. Here, donors were able to use aid sanctions to successfully encourage democratization, while strengthening the demands of domestic opposition forces. This paper argues that three factors were critical in this process: 1) aid dependency, 2) donor coordination, and 3) a strong and persistent domestic opposition. With their combined weight, foreign donors and Malawian civil society were able to change the tide in this once highly authoritarian country.

  • Africa Confidential “Malawi: The next domino” 1991 vol. 32 no. 25 20 December 1991

  • Africa Confidential “Malawi: Never the Same Again” 1992 vol. 33 no. 10 22 May 1992

  • Africa Confidential “Malawi: The Churches give a lead” 1992 vol. 33 no. 17 28 August 1992

  • Africa Confidential “Malawi; Referring to the opposition” 1992 vol. 33 no. 22 6 November 1992

  • Africa Research Bulletin. “Malawi: Anger Builds Up” 1992 vol. 29 no. 3 1-31 March 1992

  • Africa Research Bulletin “Malawi: Leading Opponent Detained” 1992 vol. 29 no. 4 1-31 April 1992

  • Africa Research Bulletin “Malawi: Riots and Strikes” 1992 vol. 29 no. 5 1-30 May 2013

  • Africa Research Bulletin “Malawi-Britain: No Resumption of Aid” 1992 vol. 29 no. 9 1-30 September 1992

  • Africa Research Bulletin “Malawi: President Empowered to Call Referendum” 1992 vol. 29 no. 11 1-30 November 1992

  • Africa Research Bulletin “Malawi: Democracy Poll Date” 1992 vol. 29 no. 12 1-31 December 1992

  • African Elections Database “Malawi Detailed Election Results” 2011 Accessed 25 March 2011 http://africanelections.tripod.com/mw_detail.html

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Agence France Presse “Donors await practical change in Malawi to resume aid” 1993 22 June 1993

  • Agence France Presse “Malawi aid linked to democracy referendum” 1993 13 June 1993

  • Ake Claude “Rethinking African Democracy” Journal of Democracy 1991 vol. 2 no. 1 33 44

  • Azam Jean-Paul, Devarajan S. & O’Oconnell S. “Aid dependence reconsidered” 1999 Working Papers, Center for the Study of African Economies, Paper #198

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Boke N. Daloz J.-P. & Quantin P. “External factors and Internal Dynamics in Democratization in Nigeria” Transitions Démocratiques Africaines 1997 Paris, Karthala 1997

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bollen Kenneth “Political Democracy and the Timing of Development” American Sociological Review 1979 vol. 44 572 587

  • Boyce James Investing in Peace: Aid and Conditionality after Civil Wars 2002 New York, NY Oxford University Press Inc. Adelphi Paper #351

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bratton Michael & van de Walle Nicolas “Popular Protest and Politcal Reform in Africa” Comparative Politics 1992 vol. 24 no. 4 419 442

  • Brautigam Barbara Aid Dependence and Governance 2000 Stockholm, Almquist and Wiksell

  • Burkhart Ross & Lewis-Beck Micheal “Comparative Democracy: The Economic Development Thesis” American Political Science Review 1994 vol. 88 903 910

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Burnell Peter “The State of the Art: The Challenging Politics of Foreign Aid” Politics 1997 vol. 17 no. 2 117 125

  • Callaghy Thomas M. & Ravenhill John Hemmed In: Responses to Africa’s Economic Decline 1993 New York, NY Columbia University Press

  • Carothers Thomas “The Rule of Law Revival” Foreign Affairs 1998 vol. 77 no. 2 95 106

  • Chazan Naomi “Africa’s Democratic Challenge” World Policy Journal 1992 vol. 9 no. 2 279 307

  • Crawford Gordon Foreign Aid and Political Reform: A Comparative Analysis of Democracy Assistance and Political Conditionality 2001 New York, NY Palgrave Macmillan

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cullen S. Hendrix & Salehyan Idean “Social Conflict in Africa Database (SCAD)” Accessed 6 December 2012 http://www.scaddata.org.

  • Economic Intelligence Unit “Malawi Country Report 1992” 1992 33 34

  • Emmanuel Nikolas “Undermining Cooperation: Donor-Patrons and the Failure of Political Conditionality” Democratization 2010 vol. 17 no. 5 856 877

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Emmanuel Nikolas “With Friends Like This . . .: Shielding Cameroon from Democratization” Journal of Asian and African Studies 2013 vol. 48 no. 2 145 160

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Foster Mick & Leavy Jennifer The Choice of Financial Instruments 2001 London, UK Overseas Development Institute Working Paper #158

  • Freedom House “Freedom in the World Comparative Rankings: 1973-2011” Accessed 15 June 2011 http://www.freedomhouse.org/report-types/freedom-world

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Geddes Barbara “What Do We Know about Democratization after Twenty Years” Annual Review of Political Science 1999 vol. 2 115 144

  • Hall Mike “Western Donors Cut Aid to Malawi” The Guardian 1992 May 14 10

  • Harrignan Jane From Dictatorship to Democracy: Economic Policy in Malawi 1964-2000 2001 Burlington, VT Aldershot

  • Holman Michael “Banda faces threat to grip on power: Two days of unrest leave 38 dead” Financial Times 1992 May 8 4

  • Holman Michael “Malawi opposition comes into the open” The Independent 1992 12 December, 14

  • Holman Michael “Malawi: Creditors Condition Aid on Democratization, Human Rights” Inter-Press Service 1992 May 13

  • Jackman Robert “On the Relations of Economic Development to Democratic Performance American Journal of Political Science 1973 vol. 17 611 621

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Joseph Richard “Democratization in Africa after 1989: Comparative and Theoretical; Perspectives” Comparative Politics 1997 vol. 29 no. 3 363 382

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kaliya Julius “Donors Relaxing Aid Freeze” Inter-Press Service 1993 October 8

  • Kaspin Deborah “The Politics of Ethnicity in Malawi’s Democratic Transition” The Journal of Modern African Studies 1995 vol. 33 no. 4 595 620

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Knack Stephen “Aid Dependence and the Quality of Governance: A Cross-Country Empirical Analysis” 2000 Washington, DC World Bank

  • Lancaster Carol Aid to Africa: So Much To Do, So Little Done 1999 Chicago, IL University of Chicago Press

  • Lobe Jim “Malawi: U.S. Sees Aid Freeze at Coming Paris Donors’ Meeting” Inter-Press Service 1992 April 7

  • Lumumba-Kasongo Tukumbi Rise of Multipartyism and Democracy in the Global Context: the Case of Africa 1998 Westport, Connecticut Praeger

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lumumba-Kasongo Tukumbi Liberal Democracy and Its Critics in Africa: Political Dysfunction and the Struggle for Social Progress 2005 and 2006 South Africa, Pretoria UNISA Senegal, Dakar: CODESRIA and United Kingdom, London: Zed Books.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Manthorpe Jonathan “Bishops assail tyrannical rule in Malawi” The Gazette 1992 March 11 C8 Montréal

  • Nelson Joan & Eglinton Stephanie Encouraging Democracy: What Role for Conditional Aid? 1992 Washington, DC Overseas Development Council

  • Newell Jonathan “‘A Moment of Truth’? The Church and Political Change in Malawi, 1992” Journal of Modern African Studies 1995 vol. 33 no. 2 243 262

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) iLibrary “Aid Activities” Accessed 15 September 2012 http://www.source-oecd.org.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Przeworski Adam & Limongi Fernando “Modernization: Theories and Facts” World Politics 1997 vol. 49 155 183

  • Sandbrook Richard “The State and Economic Stagnation in Tropical Africa” World Development 1986 no. 14 319 332

  • Richburg Keith “West Suspends Most Aid to Malawi Regime: Human Rights Record, Absence of ‘Basic Freedoms’ Form Basis for Action” Washington Post 1992 May 14 A16

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Riding Alan “Responding to Rights Issues, West Suspends Aid to Malawi” New York Times 1992 May 14 A15

  • Riley Stephen “Political Adjustment or Domestic Pressure? Democratic Politics and Political Choice in Africa” Third World Quarterly 1992 vol. 13 no. 3 539 551

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rothchild Donald Managing Ethnic Conflict in Africa 1997 Washington, DC Brookings Institution

  • Sandbrook Richard The Politics of Africa’s Economic Recovery 1993 New York, NY Cambridge University Press

  • Smith Karen Elizabeth The Use of Political Conditionality in the EU’s Relations with Third Countries: How Effective 1997 Florence, Italy European University Institute EUI Working Paper no. 97/7

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stokke Olav Aid and political conditionality 1995 Portland, OR Frank Cass

  • Uvin Peter Aiding Violence: The Development Enterprise in Rwanda 1998 New Haven, CT Kumarian Press

  • van Donge Jan “Kamuzu’s Legacy: The Democratization of Malawi: Or Searching for the Rules of the Game in African Politics” African Affairs 1995 vol. 94 no. 3 227 257

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wiseman John The New Struggle for Democracy in Africa 1994 Brookkfield, VT Avebury Press

  • World Bank World Development Indicators 2012 Washington, DC World Bank

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 333 105 8
Full Text Views 137 13 2
PDF Views & Downloads 50 29 6