Foreign aid in Africa: analysing the role of European Union political aid in political processes in Kenya, 1990-2013

Musila, Benson (2019-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study investigated contributions as well as limitations of EU political aid in processes of political development in Kenya since the onset of political pluralism in the early 1990s to mid-2016. The study sought to advance extant debates about the role of exogenous versus endogenous factors during Africa’s third wave of democracy. Hence, the questions: What have been the contributions as well as limitations of EU political aid toward processes of political development in Kenya since the early 1990s? The study reveals that initially the EU supported liberalization in Kenya in the after-math of the cold war. However, this support was of a very superficial kind; it could not sustain the difficult, yet necessary task of institution-building. In the specific Kenyan case EU political aid in the early 1990s focused on bolstering domestic civil society in its struggle against the Moi dictatorship. While this should have been the first phase of a multifaceted undertaking, the EU and others did not then move onto what should have been the next phase in this journey: institutionalization. Whether this would have actually happened, given the fumbling that characterized the 1990s is an open question. In any case, the emergence of the war on terror on the global agenda after the events of September 2001 completely closed this avenue. Although the international community had quickly ogled institution development as the key international agenda for the 21st century in the wake of the attacks, between 2001-2007 there was no serious political aid effort towards institution building in Kenya, save for the construction of institutions keyed to the war on terrorism; how else, to explain the failure to press the Kenya government to effect constitutional and other institutional reforms as promised after the 2002 elections? This neglect would prove costly; it contributed in no small measure to the post-election crisis of 2007-08; after all, that conflict issued from a failure of institutions both during the contested tallying of votes, and the subsequent eruption of violence. It would require the NARA and then agenda number 4 to begin to address these issues, with the crisis having focused attention on the need for institution building, reminding even those with vested interests in Kenya that the status quo had become untenable. There is some irony here: in pursuit of self-interest the EU may actually now help erect robust institutions in the wake of the post-election crisis. If so, then it remains to be seen what type of institutions and structures will emerge under realism—whether as the war on terrorism and the attendant institutional infrastructure suggests these will be repressive institutions, or whether perhaps self-interest and altruism will combine to help create both participative and procedural norms that will underpin a more robust state in Kenya. One of the main criticisms usually levelled against foreign aid—political aid included—is that it is too narrowly focused on technical aspects to the exclusion of political ones. In other words, the claim is usually made that current foreign aid merely represents a reincarnation of foreign aid of old—that of the 1960s—in the Huntingtonian frame. This study has diverged from that school of thought to argue that currently foreign aid has actually swung in the opposite direction—it is overly focused on political aspects—participation in this case—to the exclusion of technocratic aspects, conceptualized as institutionalization. Yet a better view of development and the role of foreign aid in it would have to reconcile the need for participation, on the one hand, and that of effectiveness, on the other—cognizant of the fact that development is a bi-product of the interaction between structure and agency. Thus, the study argues against the old Huntingtonian singular focus on institutionalization to the exclusion of participation—the failure of development administration, with its obsession with institutionalization to the exclusion of politics testifies to the short-comings of such an attempt. On the other hand, however, the study also cautions against current critiques, which seem to celebrate agency, while viewing institutionalization–structures—askance—or what such critiques have taken to pejoratively referring to as the “technical approach”. As the events from Kenya illustrate, a singular focus on participation to the neglect of institutions is likely to result in the elevation of process over structure—with dire consequences for political development. Thus to suffice, participation must go hand-in- hand with institution building.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie ondersoek die bydrae sowel as die beperkinge van die Europese Unie (EU) se politieke bystand in prosesse van politieke ontwikkeling in Kenia sedert die aanvang van politieke pluralisme in die vroeë 1990’s tot middel 2016. Die studie probeer om bestaande debatte te bevorder oor die rol van eksogene- teenoor endogene faktore gedurende Afrika se derde golf van demokrasie. Daarom die vraag: wat was die bydrae, sowel as die beperkinge van die EU politieke bystand teenoor prosesse in politieke ontwikkeling in Kenia sedert die vroeë 1990’s? Die studie onthul dat die EU aanvanklik liberalisme in Kenia ondersteun het met die nadraai van die Koue Oorlog. Die ondersteuning was baie oppervlakkig van aard; en kon nie die moeilike, tog noodsaaklike taak van institusionele-ontwikkeling volhou nie. In die spesifieke Keniaanse geval fokus die EU politieke bystand in die vroeë 1990’s op versterking van binnelandse burgerlike samelewing in sy stryd teen die Moi-diktatorskap. Laasgenoemde moes die eerste fase van ʼn veelsydige onderneming wees, maar die EU en andere, het nie aanbeweeg na wat die volgende fase in die reis moes wees nie, naamlik: institusionalisering. Dit bly ʼn ope vraag of dit sou realiseer, gegewe die foute wat die 1990’s gekenmerk het. Die begin van die oorlog teen terreur op die globale agenda het, na die September 2001 gebeure, hierdie weg toegemaak. Alhoewel die internasionale gemeenskap institusionalisering as prioriteit op die 21ste eeu se internasionale agenda geplaas het, is geen poging tussen 2001 en 2007 aangewend om ernstige politieke bystand in Kenia te verleen nie. Instansies om terrorisme te beveg, het tot stand gekom. Hoe dan anders om die mislukking om die Kenia regering te druk om grondwetlike en ander institusionele hervormings te affekteer soos belowe na die 2002 verkiesing? Hierdie nalatingheid kom duur te staan. Dit het grootliks bygedra tot die na-verkiesingskrisis van 2007-2008; toe konflik ontstaan vanuit ʼn mislukking van instansies gedurende die betwiste kontrolering van stemme en die daaropvolgende uitbarsting van geweld. Dit sal van National Accord Reconciliation Act (NARA) en agenda nommer 4 vereis om die kwessies te adresseer met die fokus op die krisis vir die noodsaaklikheid vir institusionele-ontwikkeling, wat selfs diegene met gevestigde belange in Kenia herinner dat die status quo onhoudbaar geword het. Die ironie is: in die strewe na selfbelang kan die EU werklik nou help om stewige instansies op te rig in die nadraai van die verkiesingskrisis. Indien wel, dan moet daar nog gekyk word watter tipe instansies en strukture onder realisme sal verskyn—of die oorlog teen terreur en die gepaardgaande institusionele infrastruktuur daarop dui dat dit onderdrukte instansies sal wees, of selfs selfbelang en altruïsme sal kombineer om te help om beide deelnemende en prosessuele norme te skep wat ʼn sterker staat in Kenia sal ondersteun. Een van die belangrikste kritici wat gewoonlik op buitelandse bystand—politieke bystand ingesluit—gelewer word, is dat dit te nougeset gefokus is op tegniese aspekte, met uitsluiting van politieke aspekte. Met ander woorde, die beweging is dat huidige buitelandse bystand bloot ʼn reïnkarnasie van buitelandse bystand van ouds bied—dit van die 1960’s—in die Huntingtoniaanse raamwerk. Hierdie studie het afgewyk van die denkwyse om te argumenteer dat buitelandse bystand tans eintlik in die teenoorgestelde rigting geswaai het—daar is te veel gefokus op politieke aspekte—deelneming in hierdie geval—tot uitsluiting van tegnokratiese aspekte, gekonseptualiseer as institusionalisering. Nietemin moet ʼn beter siening van ontwikkeling en die rol van buitelandse bystand met die behoefte aan deelname aan die een kant en die doeltreffendheid daarvan, versoen—bewus van die feit dat ontwikkeling ʼn byproduk is van die interaksie tussen struktuur en agentskap. Die studie argumenteer dus teen die ou Huntingtoniaanse enkelvoudige fokus op institusionalisering tot die uitsluiting van deelname—die mislukking van ontwikkelingsadministrasie, ʼn obsessie met institusionalisering wat politiek uitsluit en getuig van die tekortkominge van so 'n poging. Aan die ander kant waarsku die studie ook teen die huidige kritiek, wat lyk asof die agentskap gevier word, terwyl institusionaliseringstrukture—skepties bejeen word, of wat sulke kritiek verkleinerend na verwys as die "tegniese benadering". Soos die gebeure uit Kenia illustreer, sal 'n enkele fokus op deelname aan die verwaarlosing van instansies waarskynlik lei tot die opheffing van die proses teenoor struktuur—met ernstige gevolge vir politieke ontwikkeling. Om dus te volstaan, moet deelname hand-aan-hand gaan met institusionalisering.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/107043
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