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Perceptions of the EU's approach to democracy building in Africa

Makinda, S. (2010) Perceptions of the EU's approach to democracy building in Africa. International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, Stockholm, Sweden.

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This paper examines African perceptions of the European Union’s (EU’s) role in democracy building on the continent. The EU is undoubtedly one of the largest global providers of development assistance to Africa and other parts of the developing world, and has made significant efforts to support democracy-building in African states since the Cold War ended. Its policies and actions have had a great impact on governance processes at the continental level through the African Union and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, at the subcontinental level through regional economic communities such as the East African Community, the Economic Community of Western African States, and the Southern African Development Community, and at the national level through direct dealings with various African governments, parliaments, political parties, and civil society groups.

Africans’ perceptions on the EU’S role vary widely, depending on variables such as geographical region, countries’ stability and level of democratic development, and individuals’ gender and level of education. EU efforts are often seen as a mixed blessing; arguably, support for democracy building would be enhanced by a broader focus that took social-economic and development needs into account.

Item Type: Report
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Murdoch Business School
Publisher: International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance
Copyright: © 2International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance 2010
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