Opportunities just beneath the surface: Participatory and deliberative processes in Rwanda
Aldean, Jacob C.
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In a political system with overall weak contestation, is participation capable of improving accountability? If so, how? Accountability is a combination of answerability and enforcement, and may be viewed as vertical from the citizenry, or horizontal from adjacent government institutions. Through the socializing and deliberative participatory processes of informing, consulting with, involving, collaborating with, and empowering, horizontal accountability, and potentially vertical accountability, may be enhanced, even in authoritarian regimes. The government of Rwanda presents a unique opportunity to demonstrate this, since it appears to possess strong participatory institutions, yet it still has a limited level of contestation. This study of the Rwandan government system uncovers several potential examples of improving accountability achieved through various forms of participation, and builds a model for further study on the topic.
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