Article from ROAPE Volume 22 Number 65
‘Political Conditionality’ & Democratisation
The use of aid to impose political conditions on recipient countries, to further democratic and government reforms or to punish non-compliance with earlier demands, is a relatively new feature of the international aid regime. This article evaluates the proliferating donor and academic literature emerging on the subject. At the heart of discussion of democracy/governance policies are debates about transformation of the state, its relationship to economic development and the decreasing extent to which considerations of sovereignty limit donor interventions. The author argues that, while political conditionalities may assist the development of democratic movements in Africa, there is an irony in that structural adjustment risks undermining the state reforms seen to be essential to them while, equally, democratisation may challenge the processes of economic restructuring being imposed.