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Congo Masquerade: The Political Culture of Aid Inefficiency and Reform Failure (African Arguments)by Theodore Trefon
Synopses & Reviews
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.
About 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.
Table of Contents
Preface and acknowledgements
The crocodile and the scorpion: a parable
Map of Democratic Republic of Congo
1: Why state-building is not working
2: The political economy of broken promises
3: A patchwork of unrealisitc reforms
4: The administrative juggernaut
5: Culture matters
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