It seems that all the major holidays this year have gone hand in hand with some manner of international crisis. Thanksgiving brought us the North Korean artillery attack near the border, and this Christmas season has given us the rapidly escalating situation in the
Like many states in the region, The Ivory Coast gained independence in the early
And so it is here that we find ourselves at the present situation. While the leadership is in the public eye, the true crisis is one of a weak state and weak institutions. Democratic mechanisms are not things that can be built overnight, and take time to develop both legitimacy and serious linkage to society itself. Just as the Western style systems created post-independence were largely hollow due to the lack of connection between the colonial states and easily swept aside by powerful leaders, the current regime is suffering from the weak societal links between society and the Boigny regime. For example, the state Supreme Court ruled in favor of Mr. Gbagbo, yet the ruling was dismissed by much of the country because the judicial branch itself lacks the legitimacy to assert itself. State constructs have been all but evacuated of all serious influence with society.
Regardless of how this crisis is resolved, the lesson to take away from it is that many African states need to look not so much at their states’ inner workings, but rather to their foundations. As the
And yes I am fully aware that this is pretty much a politics blog now. So sue me.