The political economy of post-conflict development: A comparative assessment of Burundi and Rwanda
Lastinger, Stephanie C.
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This thesis examines the political economy of post-conflict economic recovery in Rwanda and Burundi. These two countries, located in the Great Lakes region of East Africa, are commonly referred to as twins. They are relatively similar in size; are landlocked; have a similar topography, population density, ethnic composition, culture, and language; and share a colonial legacy as well as a tragic history of genocide. Despite the similarities shared by these two countries, Rwanda has been more successful in recovering economically from civil war, while Burundi has been in a cycle of civil strife mired with poverty. Why has Rwanda been more successful than Burundi in post-conflict economic growth and development? This thesis argues that the differences between Rwanda and Burundi's transition from conflict to peace, political elite dynamics, and center-periphery relationships are key in explaining the divergence in their post-conflict economic outcomes. These insights facilitate a better understanding of how politics influence the trajectory of post-conflict economic recovery.
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