Between 1960 and 1990, Côte d'Ivoire was regarded as a model of state stability and state efficiency. But in 2002 the Ivorian State completely collapsed. At the same time the level of democracy in Côte d'Ivoire went up between 1990 and 2002, leading the country from a paternalistic dictatorship to a liberal democracy . Those two variables, state stability and the level of democracy, seem to have been negatively correlated. By conducting a case study on Côte d'Ivoire between 1990 and 2002, I will try to assess the extent to which democracy has been responsible of the failure of the Ivorian state. More precisely I will look at the process of democratization that took place, focusing on the political debate and of different democratic policies implemented during that time, their consequences on the stability of the state.
[...] I will now look at the political process of democratization in regards to the consequences it had to the failure of the state. Because of the drop of the exchange rate of coffee and cocoa in the 1980s, public resentment started to grow. Led by students, demonstrations took place in the country to protest against the austerity policies. Realizing that the process of democratization was unavoidable and wanting to keep control of it, Houphouët Boigny decided in 1990 to authorized multipartism and legalized the creation of political parties. [...]
[...] Beside the absence of political goods to the population, a state will be considered as failed if its survival is at stake. Indeed working institutions and a working bureaucracy or administration is a requirement. The extensive control of the state on its territory is also an important component of the success of a state, whether to defend its sovereignty against foreign entities or domestic rebellion. The legitimate use of violence should also be in the hands of the sole state. [...]
[...] Again, political measures were taken by the man in power to try and remain in power. The RDR ministers left the CSNP and were replaced by former PDCI members who were originally excluded from the Committee. In the October 2000 election, when it became clear that he would lose, Gueï dismissed the electoral commission and stopped the counting of the votes. This created civil unrests and eventually Robert Gueï had to flee out of the country while Gbagbo was elected President with 59% of the votes. [...]
[...] However, the state failed to bring a good education and health system, and security and economic prosperity were achieved at the cost of political freedom. Houphouët Boigny was ruling in an authoritarian way, forbidding political opposition until 1990 and imprisoning political opponents. But again, state stability cannot be measured solely in regards to the degree of political freedom. It is only one parameter among others. Institutions were functioning perfectly well, as proven by the longevity Houphouët Boigny's presidency, and the different communities were peacefully cohabitating. [...]
[...] Gbagbo's refusal to repel the concept can be seen as the cause of those fighting, but also led to a situation which seemed without any exit. September 2002 marks the beginning of the civil war. A coup d'état was organized simultaneously in several cities of the country. It failed in the South but the rebels gained the support of the population in the North and managed to control the Northern half of the county. The rebels' original conditions for a cease fire were simple: Gbagbo had to leave the Presidency and the Ivoirity concept had to be repelled. [...]
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