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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Chiefs and burgomasters in Rwanda: the unfinished quest for a bureaucracy
Author:Reyntjens, F.ISNI
Periodical:Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law
Geographic terms:Rwanda
Subjects:political stability
traditional rulers
Abstract:This study deals with the introduction of bureaucratic norms in Rwanda after the inception of Belgian colonial rule in 1916. The interventionist policy of the Belgian administration with regard to the local chiefs included: incorporation of peripheral regions into the central kingdom, territorial reorganization, abolition of the triple chiefly hierarchy, reservation of political offices for the Tutsi minority, increasing control of the appointment and dismissal of chiefs, monetarization of tribute, and training of chiefs. These interventions gradually transformed the local authorities into civil servants, thereby eroding the stability of the political system. Upon independence, the country experienced a so-called 'Thermidorian syndrome', involving a partial restoration of the very order of things which the revolution at first proposed to destroy. The discrepancy between the striving for modernization and the weakness of the institutional framework resulted in political instability, which emerged sharply after independence. Bibliogr., notes, ref.