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The State. Origin, Transformation, and Collapse. I. Defining the State. Definition based on politics: community or institution with a monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force over people in its territory

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The State

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The state l.jpg

The State

Origin, Transformation, and Collapse


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I. Defining the State

  • Definition based on politics: community or institution with a monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force over people in its territory

  • Definition based on language: The totality of a country’s governmental institutions and officials, together with the laws & procedures that structure their activities

  • Key feature: Sovereignty (sole legal authority over people and territory)


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II. Theories of the State

  • Formalism (a.k.a. the “Old” Institutionalism) – Constitutions and laws determine resource allocation and political outcomes

    • Look at successful states to copy design features (success attributed to formal laws). Freedom preserved by Bill of Rights, etc.

    • Problems:

      • Same constitutions = different outcomes (Swiss, Filipinos, Liberians all modeled US Constitution)

      • People sometimes obey states but other times overthrow them

      • Difficult to predict which mechanisms will be effective because no theory about why some work while others fail


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B. Functionalism: The state serves functions for society

  • Assumptions:

    • Every society must perform certain functions in order to survive (reproduction, education, defense, etc.)

    • Both formal and informal rules needed to preserve social stability

    • Existing customs and laws serve certain universal functions. Which ones?

  • State failure explained as “disequilibrium” – some parts failed to fulfill functions

  • Problems:

    • Theory is tautological –What predictions can we make?

    • Treats status quo as “normal” state of affairs – but some institutions seem to have negative effects (ag agencies decreasing ag production…)


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C. Social Forces: The state is an object of struggle

  • Assumption: Political outcomes are the result of interest groups fighting over the control of resources

  • Method: Examine group strength and position, then calculate “sum of forces” to arrive at result

  • Problems:

    • Similar group alignments produce different outcomes in different states

    • Some groups appear to have influence out of proportion to objective power (resources)

    • States intervene to alter group power


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D. Rational Choice: The state is composed of rational individuals

  • Focuses on individuals.

  • Rationality =

    • Connected preferences: People know what they want (although they might not know what’s really good for them)

    • Transitory preferences: People are consistent about what they want

  • Method: Given preferences, how can individuals get what they want? Private enterprise, collective action, or politics?

  • Problem: “Rules of the game” differ in different countries  incentives to behave differently


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E. The “New” Institutionalism: Institutions as “Rules of the Game”

  • Assumes social forces or rational choice: Actors pursuing interests do construct or alter states, often to solve collective action problems or security dilemmas

  • Argues that state institutions in turn structure group/individual decision-making by changing incentives (indeed, this was their purpose)

  • Implication: Different group relations produce different institutions (Example: Presidentialism inappropriate for competition between ethnically-based parties)

  • Problem: Still no theory of preferences. Why do people have different desires?


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III. Evolution of the State

  • State formation:

    • Early polities: Socially-stratified groups in which people specialize, with some specializing in administration or governance.

    • Large polities become empires through conquest and relaxing criteria for inclusion (beyond the family or tribe)

    • States become territorial: Clovis is “King of the Franks” in late 5th Century but Capetians are “Kings of France” in 6th Century. Laws of people (wherever they might be) replaced by laws of territories.

    • Loyalty still personal: To the person, not the position.

    • “Capstone governments” – States are composed of different groups ruled by their own customs and only occasionally interacting with government. “Early states ran wide but not deep.”


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B. Transition to the Supremacy of States

  • Centralization: Technology, economic growth, trade, better defense enable rulers to centralize authority and “deepen” ties to the state through taxation and policing

  • Rule of Law: Formal law is enforced, contracts become written, etc.

  • Sovereignty: Clash between sources of authority (Church and state) produces huge wars and leads to development of sovereignty norm (only the state has control over its people and territory)

Note: From here on, everything is disputed…


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C. Colonialism and Institution-Building

  • European states ignored sovereignty of non-Europeans, imposed new institutions

  • Institutions selected for benefit of colonial powers or colonists

    • Densely populated areas (tropics): Native labor exploited through slavery and feudalism

    • Sparsely populated areas: Institutions set up to encourage further colonization by Europeans (representation, autonomy)


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3. The Institution-Based Reversal: Colonial Development and Population


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D. The Constitutional State

  • Why would rulers limit their own power?

    • Increased trade enriches merchant class  able to finance rebellion (stick) or Crown (carrot)

    • Absolutism restrains trade (no secure property rights): only Crown enriched


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Voyages Per Year: Mediterranean (Pink) vs. Atlantic (Blue) Trade


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D. The Constitutional State

  • Why would rulers limit their own power?

    • Increased trade enriches merchant class  able to finance rebellion (stick) or Crown (carrot)

    • Absolutism restrains trade (no secure property rights): only Crown enriched

  • Result: Bifurcation of Europe into constitutional (England, Netherlands) and absolutist (Spain, Portugal) regimes

  • Expansion of franchise: Threat of revolution when industrialization empowers poor (unskilled labor)


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E. Post-Colonial States

  • Most “born” with institutions designed for benefit of others

  • Pre-independence institutions enriched some local elites and impoverished others (divide and rule -- or mobilization of revolutionary armies)

  • Existing elites use economic power to preserve political power (institutions designed to perpetuate rule)


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IV. Future of the State: Threats to Legitimacy and Power

  • A New World Order? Undermining the legitimacy of state sovereignty

    • International Relations: Sovereign states sometimes have to bargain with other sovereign states to solve common problems

    • Problem: Treaties should be unenforceable

    • Solution: Create “self-enforcing” agreements like multilateral treaties that sanction violators

    • Alternative solution: Create common decision-making entity (UN, EU, IMF, etc.)

    • Either solution constrains the state, eroding sovereignty in practice (#3) or law (#4)


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B. Civil War: Sovereignty Under Siege

  • Geographic Causes

    • Land Area: Bigger countries more prone to secessionism

    • Terrain: Mountains increase war risk (less evidence for jungles or forests)

    • Resources: Oil increases risk (less evidence for metals and diamonds)

    • Neighborhood: Contagion effects


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2. Economic Causes

  • Per-capita GDP: Both level and growth rate reduce war risk, but “vertical” inequality has no effect (few studies of “horizontal” inequality)

  • Primary commodity exports: Countries dependent on raw material exports are war-prone

  • Social welfare: Low infant mortality and high secondary school enrollment reduce war risk

  • Agriculture: Soil degradation increases war risk


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3. Political Causes

  • History: Recent wars increase risk (effect lasts for more than 10 years)

  • Regime type: Anocracy is dangerous


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Anocracy and State Failure


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3. Political Causes

  • History: Recent wars increase risk (effect lasts for more than 10 years)

  • Regime type: Anocracy is dangerous (and strong democracy is better than autocracy)

  • Regime change: Political instability increases war risk


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4. Demographic Causes

  • Population: More people = higher risk (but evidence on population density is mixed)

  • Diversity: Results are mixed, but some studies find ethnic heterogeneity increases risk (no real evidence for linguistic, religious, or social diversity)


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Relationship: Diversity and Income


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Relationship: Diversity and Freedom


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5. Civil War Risk is Declining


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C. State failure: Sovereignty without authority. Three routes to state failure:

  • Catastrophe: Something overwhelms state’s ability to provide even minimal protection or enforce law. Causes:

    • Low capacity to respond to catastrophe (civil war, poverty, corruption)


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Corruption Perceptions Index


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C. State failure: Sovereignty without authority. Three routes to state failure:

  • Catastrophe: Something overwhelms state’s ability to provide even minimal protection or enforce law. Causes:

    • Low capacity to respond to catastrophe (civil war, poverty, corruption)

    • Natural disasters: Tend to recur in same places


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Affected by Disasters, 1975-2004 (UNEP)


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Killed by Disasters, 1975-2004 (UNEP)


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C. State failure: Sovereignty without authority. Three routes to state failure:

  • Catastrophe: Something overwhelms state’s ability to provide even minimal protection or enforce law. Causes:

    • Low capacity to respond to catastrophe (civil war, poverty, corruption)

    • Natural disasters: Tend to recur in same places

    • Disease: Compare health care resources to disease risk


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Per-Capita Health Spending


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HIV Cases


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TB Cases


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TB Incidence per 100,000


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Malaria Deaths


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Cholera Deaths


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Polio Cases


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2. Sovereignty without institutionalization: State is created which lacks de-personalized institutions or capacity to extract taxes and monopolize force

  • Recent decolonization/independence -- “New” states at risk


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b. State “birth” type and institutional strength

  • Hypothesis: States born in revolution, secession, or nonviolent struggle for independence should be stronger than those granted independence without struggle (examples: Congo, Uzbekistan)

  • IV = Better birth experience (requiring organization and solution of collective action problems)

  • Tests using both GDP and Rotberg’s (2004) index of state failure as DVs reveal…


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iv. The puzzle of state birth

  • Good births increase later GDP and decrease odds of state failure but…

    • Relationship disappears when war participation is also included as a (control) IV. Why?

    • Theory: War produces state strength.

      • Interstate war increases later growth!

      • Civil war decreases later growth

  • Another finding: States with imposed borders different from pre-colonization ones have lower growth, higher rates of failure


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c. Personalized regimes: Difficult to measure

  • One indicator = unconstrained executives (very similar to autocracy measures). Test Results:


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Estimated risk of genocide – it goes up when unconstrained executives have a powerful Army

Index of Military Personnel


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c. Personalized regimes: Difficult to measure

  • One indicator = unconstrained executives (very similar to autocracy measures). Test Results: unconstrained executive + large military = danger

  • Alternative experiment: Compare personalist post-Soviet regimes to institutionalized or previously-independent regimes. DV = violent deaths…

  • Everyone agrees Turkmenistan was personalized. Why?


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Welcome to Turkmenistan, 2006

  • A statue of our glorious leader, President-for-Life Turkmenbashi (meaning Great Leader of All Turkmen).

  • This is one of a half-dozen statues of him we made out of gold. (Really, it was the least we could do.)


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You’ll be hearing a lot about Turkmenbashi here…

  • This one revolves so he may always face the sun!


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He’s everywhere!


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Turkmenbashi the Spiritual Guide

  • Ruhnama is the combination autobiography, historical fiction, and spiritual guidebook written by Turkmenbashi himself

  • Must be prominently displayed in bookstores and government offices

  • Required to be displayed next to and equal to the Islamic Qur'an in mosques

  • Main component of education from primary school to university. Ability to exactly recite passages from it is required for state employment – and even a driver’s license

  • Ruhnama was sent into space in 2006


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Every night this enormous mechanical Ruhnama opens and passages are recited with video


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More interesting construction projects

  • In Niyazov's home village of Kipchak, a complex has been built to the memory of his mother, including a mosque (est. at US$100 million) conceived as a symbol of the rebirth of the Turkmen people. The walls of this edifice display precepts from the Ruhnama along with Qur'an suras.

  • August 2004: Turkmenbashi orders an ice palace to be built – in the desert. This “wonder of the world” ends up being an ice skating rink.


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But wait, there’s more…

  • Recent decrees:

    • Turkmenbashi ordered the closure of all rural libraries because “village Turkmen do not read”

    • Ban on opera and ballet – they are “unnecessary”

    • Young people may not get gold tooth caps/teeth, but rather should chew on bones

    • Closure of all hospitals outside Ashgabat, saying that sick people could just come to the capital

    • Ordering that physicians swear an oath to him instead of the Hippocratic Oath

    • All recorded music is banned

    • The city of Krasnovodsk is now the city of…Turkmenbashi


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In case you’re not convinced…

  • In 1991 he introduced a new Turkmen alphabet, which all are required to use

  • He renamed the days of the week

  • Then he renamed the months of the year:

    • January is now “Turkmenbashi”

    • February is now “Flag” – (Flag Day is celebrated on Turkmenbashi’s birthday)

    • April is “Gurbansoltan Eje”, the name of Turkmenbashi’s mother

    • September is “Ruhnama”

    • And so forth…


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Was Turkmenistan headed for failure?


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Turkmenistan’s Path

  • Exports natural gas and cotton

    • 1990s: Depression (Russia cut off trans-shipment of gas)

    • 2000s: Recovery as non-Russia pipelines began operation

  • Government follows free trade policy, received MFN status from Europe and WTO

  • January 2006: Government eliminates pensions to one third of elderly, cuts pensions of remaining two-thirds – and then orders elderly to repay the pensions received in the past two years back to the State. Reports indicate that this may be killing old people, whose $10 - $90 pensions were their sole sources of support


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Turkmenistan After Turkmenbashi

  • December 2006: Turkmenbashi dies suddenly without naming successor

    • Gurbanguly Mälikgulyýewiç Berdimuhamedow becomes acting President, even though someone else is designated by the Constitution (and immediately arrested) – Berdimuhamedow “elected” by fraudulent poll in Feb 2007

    • Berdimuhamedow rumored to be illegitimate son of Turkmenbashi


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Berdimuhamedow’s policies

  • March 2007: Reverses pension decree

  • Reduces cult of personality around Turkmenbashi (but begins new one of his own)

  • Re-opens schools, restored the names of the months and days of the week, announced plans to move the gold rotating statue of from Ashgabat's central square

  • Continues propaganda


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iv. Will Turkmenistan fail?

  • Large oil/gas reserves  foreign governments willing to overlook internal policies

  • Highly dependent on Russia (which owns the major gas pipelines in the region)

    • Recent tensions as Turkmenistan grows closer to US (“accidental” explosion severs gas line to Russia in 2009, as gas prices fall and Turkmenistan insists that Russia honor contracts reached at higher price)

    • Recent plans for alternative regional pipeline to Turkey  Russian threats


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3. The Poverty Trapa. Official data: Concentration in Africa


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b. Satellite estimates (areas with lots of people but few lights are assumed to be poor)


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c. Combined National Poverty Estimates


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D. What do we know about state failure?

  • Multiple paths to state failure exist – no single cause of collapse

  • History matters – Method of independence and original institutions help determine later institutions

  • Economics matters – Common element in most routes to state failure is poverty

  • Greatest risk is sub-Saharan Africa: recently de-colonized, poor, vulnerable to disasters, patterns of civil conflict, lootable resources, etc.


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IV. Historical Case Study: The Great Lakes Crisis

  • Congo/Zaire: Anatomy of a weak state

    • Pre-colonization: Strong Luba Kingdom in Katanga area; other areas attached to other kingdoms or occupied by smaller tribes

    • Colonialism:

      • 1885: Belgium “awarded” the territory

        • King Leopold builds railways and rubber plantations using slave labor: 5-15 million dead (about half of population dies)

        • Force Publique established to maintain control over laborers

      • 1908: Belgian Parliament takes over colony

        • Hospitals, schools, etc built – improvement. But…

        • No native administration developed. No local rule allowed.


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3. Decolonization

  • Lack of preparation

    • 1958: Kongo ethnic groups form ABAKO, occupy areas

    • 1959: Belgium bans ABAKO, promises independence.

    • May 1960: Elections  Anti-Belgian party defeats pro-Belgian party and regional parties. Coalition government formed by Lumumba, Kasa-Vubu, and allies such as Mobutu.

  • Independence declared on June 30, 1960 – Congolese Parliament has only existed for a month!


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4. Mutiny, Civil War, and Fragmentation

Yellow = gov’t

Red = rival gov’t

Green = Katanga secessionists, aided by Belgium

Blue = Kasai Mining State

secessionists


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4. Mutiny, Civil War, and Fragmentation

  • Mutiny and Secession (July 5, 1960)

    • Force Publique recruits mutiny against Belgian officers

    • Belgium sends troops to suppress mutiny, even though government has not requested aid

    • Belgium assists Katangan secessionists

    • Luba tribes then revolt against Katanga (secession within secession!)

  • Political Maneuvers

    • Col. Mobutu gains control of foreign aid as Chief of Staff, distributes it to units loyal to himself.

    • UN peacekeepers deployed, but not empowered to fight. Lumumba asks Soviets for aid, uses Soviet airlift to suppress Kasai secessionists

    • Coup: CIA then assists Lumumba rivals Mobutu and Kasa-Vubu, who assemble anti-Lumumba coalition in Parliament and dismiss him from office.

      Only 67 days have passed since independence!


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4. Mutiny, Civil War, and Fragmentation

  • New rebellions rise as old ones fail

    • Lumumba arrested by Kasa-Vubu but his V-P sets up a Lumumbist government in the Northeast (red area on map)

    • Jan 1961: At Belgian urging, Mobutu executes Lumumba

    • Feb 1961: UN Security Council authorizes use of force (only time between Korea and Persian Gulf War)

    • 1961-1962: UN forces attack Katanga. Secretary General of the UN killed when plane crashes in Congo (cause undetermined)


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Mutiny, Civil War, and Fragmentation

Yellow = gov’t

Red = rival gov’t

Green = Katanga secessionists, aided by Belgium

Blue = Kasai Mining State

secessionists


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d. 1964-1965: The fourth round of rebellions

  • 1964: New revolts in eastern provinces by “Simbas” (Swahili for “lion”)

  • Simbas seize European hostages  military rescue operation succeeds

  • Simbas defeated by government of Kasa-Vubu

  • 1965: CIA assists Mobutu in coup against Kasa-Vubu. Mobutu bans all other political parties and establishes personal dictatorship with title of "Father of the Nation."


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5. Mobutu and Mobutism

  • From Congo to Zaire

    • 1967: Mobutu creates new, obligatory national party (MPR). State becomes extension of party: “The MPR must be considered as a Church and its Founder as its Messiah.”

    • Constitution gives President power to dismiss governors and judges, issue decrees

    • 1971-2: Africanization -- Congo renamed Zaire, citizens ordered to take African names

    • 1973: Salongo -- “obligatory civic work” introduced (like colonial labor requirement)


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Mobutu’s own “Africanization”

  • Joseph Desire Mobutu becomes…

  • Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu waza Banga

    • Usual translation: “The all-conquering warrior who, because of his endurance and inflexible will to win, will go from conquest to conquest leaving fire in his wake."


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5. Mobutu and Mobutism

  • From Congo to Zaire

    • 1967: Mobutu creates new, obligatory national party (MPR). State becomes extension of party: “The MPR must be considered as a Church and its Founder as its Messiah.”

    • Constitution gives President power to dismiss governors and judges, issue decrees

    • 1971-2: Africanization -- Congo renamed Zaire, citizens ordered to take African names

    • 1973: Salongo -- “obligatory civic work” introduced (like colonial labor requirement)


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“For weeks at a time, Zaire's official press was forbidden to mention the name of any other Zairian than the president himself.” -- NYT


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b. Zaire’s troubles: State weakness

  • Mobutu and political allies funnel billions of dollars into Swiss and other offshore accounts

  • Early 1970s: World Bank refuses to fund grandiose development program. US agrees to lend the money. Huge public debt accumulates.

  • 1973: “Zairianization” -- expropriation of foreign-owned businesses for the benefit of political allies. Massive business failures follow.

  • 1977, 1978: Invasions by Katangan exiles. French and Moroccans defeat invasion with US transport.

  • 1980s: Zaire used by US/allies as staging ground for rebels in neighboring countries

  • 1991: Paratrooper mutiny over unpaid wages


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B. Regional Background: A History of Slaughter

Zaire


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1. Historical Overview: Hutu vs. Tutsi in the Great Lakes Region

1950s-1970s: Hutu vs. Tutsi in Rwanda and Burundi: Tutsi refugees to Uganda, Congo/Zaire

1980s: Civil war in Uganda – Tutsi exiles aid Ugandan rebels  victory

Early 1990s: Tutsi exile army invades Rwanda with help from Uganda

1993: Arusha Accords – Agreement to share power between Hutu and Tutsi

1993: Massacres in Burundi – Hutu rebellion begins


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1980-1988: Civil War: Tutsi Exiles Aid Rebels

1990-1993: Exile Invasion  Civil War  Cease-Fire

1959: Hutu Revolt Displaces Tutsis

1972: Tutsis Kill 100,000 Hutu Elites

1988: Tutsis Kill 20,000 Hutus

1993: 50,000 Civilians Killed

1963: Invasion: 10,000 Tutsis Killed

1994: Genocide: Civil War Resumes


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2. Genocide in Rwanda, 1994


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1994: Genocide in Rwanda

April 1994:

  • Assassination of Rwanda and Burundi presidents (probably by Hutu extremists)

  • Hutu extremists kill moderate Hutus in Rwanda, seize power, and systematically exterminate 80% of Tutsis (about 800,000 people)

  • Tutsi rebels immediately restart civil war, take control of country

  • Hutu militants, 2 million Hutu civilians flee to camps in Zaire


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3. Flight of the Interahamwe


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4. Security Issues: Rwanda looks to Zaire

  • Interahamwe threaten Rwandan Tutsis: Control camp resources

  • Zaire’s Tutsis (Banyamulenge) fear the Interahamwe

  • Burundi Hutu rebels ally with Interahamwe


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C. From Zaire to the Democratic Republic of Congo

  • Mobutu decides to preserve power by using Interahamwe against enemies  classifies Banyamulenge (Zairian Tutsis) as “refugees” and revokes citizenship

  • September 1996: South Kivu province orders all Banyamulenge / Tutsi to leave or be sent to “camps”

  • Rwanda sees opportunity: defend Tutsi in Zaire AND eliminate Interahamwe

  • October 1996: Anti-Mobutu ADFL revolt sponsored by Rwanda, led by Kabila (fought Mobutu in the 1960s!)


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1990-2005: Civil War

1996: Zaire Rebellion / RPF Invasion


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4. 1996-1997: The Zaire War

  • Rebels attack Hutu camps, force refugees back to Rwanda. Zaire army melts away.

  • All of Mobutu’s regional enemies aid the ADFL.

  • May 1997: ADFL seizes power – factional infighting begins

  • ADFL renames Zaire the DRC


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D. “Africa’s World War”

  • Origins of the DRC War

    • 1997: Kabila wins power struggle within ADFL

    • Early 1998: Kabila seeks independence from sponsors (Rwanda, Uganda)

    • Kabila expels Rwandan forces / Banyamulenge  Rebellion in Kivu (again)

  • The Maelstrom: The war goes regional

    • Pro-rebel intervention: Uganda, Rwanda, and later Burundi (pro-Tutsi)

    • Pro-government intervention: Angola, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Sudan, Chad, Hutu rebels in Burundi, Interahamwe

    • Other involvement: Both sides in neighboring Congo Republic war, Ethiopia and Eritrea (Sudan  Ethiopia  Eritrea)


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“Africa’s World War”


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3. Fragmentation

  • Military Stalemate

  • Rwanda-Ugandaconflict

  • Rebel organizations fragment

  • About 2-4 million die, mostly civilians


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E. No war, no peace:

  • War formally ended by negotiation in 2003 after Kabila assassinated (son takes power)

  • Death toll still 1000/day in 2004 – many small militias carry out massacres, but majority dies of starvation and disease due to ongoing anarchy

  • July 2006: Elections finally held by transitional government. Kabila fails to win majority  his forces then attack the forces of his competitor in the upcoming runoff Kabila wins 70% of vote

  • Rwanda still sponsors some militias, which often clash with government forces

  • By 2009, death rate actually increases to 45,000/month. Best guess = 5.4 million dead since conflict began.


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