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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Donors, dependency, and political crisis in Malawi
Author:Wroe, DanielISNI
Year:2012
Periodical:African affairs: the journal of the Royal African Society (ISSN 0001-9909)
Volume:111
Issue:442
Pages:135-144
Language:English
Geographic term:Malawi
Subjects:development cooperation
authoritarianism
governance
political violence
dependence
About person:Bingu wa Mutharika (1934-2012)ISNI
Link:http://ejournals.ebsco.com/direct.asp?ArticleID=419F81C039D42CB6C429
Abstract:On 20 July 2011 violence erupted across Malawi. Thousands marched in the three regional capitals protesting against fuel shortages, taxes, and political oppression. The police and the army were deployed to restore order and 19 civilians lost their lives. This briefing explores the political dynamics of 2011, noting how dependence has delimited the scope of politics in the past and suggesting that recent events are best understood as a further expression of dependency relations. Malawi is as dependent upon aid now as it was fifty years ago. What has changed is the terms of Malawi's dependency. Banda was ousted rapidly when he failed to adapt to the new conditionalities of democracy and rights. These have also upset the Mutharika administration's efforts to entrench its position beyond the next elections. This project requires maintaining a flow of aid whose conditions militate against its completion. Mutharika appears to have found this contradiction too difficult to manage successfully. Malawians, demanding less autocratic rule, have also pressured the Mutharika administration. When Mutharika's external resources were curtailed, they refused to fill the void and demonstrated for change. When the government violently suppressed the protests on 20 July, it stepped far beyond the limits of the conditionalities that restricted it. Whilst he remains, Mutharika's power is tenuous given the suspension of most of the government's aid. If aid is resumed it will no doubt be accompanied by new conditions that will limit the ambitions of Mutharika and other politicians in the years to come. Ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]
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