Troubled state-building in the DR Congo: The challenge from the margins

  • Tull D
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This paper examines contentious state-society and centre-periphery relations in the DR Congo and their implications for state-building. Since the 2006 post-conflict elections, the state's authority has come under fire in the western province of Bas Congo, where a politico-religious group (Bundu Dia Kongo) has emerged as a serious challenger. Enjoying huge local legitimacy, the group has articulated political grievances that the newly elected central government has violently repressed. As locally perceived, elections are a legitimising tool in the hands of the government to impose its unfettered authority in the name of the state-building project. Furthermore, and backed by donors, the Kinshasa authorities also refuse to implement a wide-ranging decentralisation reform. This has fed disenchantment about post-conflict politics in Bas Congo, boding ill for democratic politics and the prospects of state-building in the DR Congo. Adapted from the source document.

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  • Denis M. Tull

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