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Rwandan ‘Home Grown Initiatives’: Illustrating Inherent Contradictions of the Democratic Developmental State

Journal article
Authors Malin Hasselskog
Published in Development Policy Review
Volume 36
Issue 3
Pages 309-328
ISSN 0950-6764
Publication year 2018
Published at School of Global Studies, Peace and Development Research
Pages 309-328
Language en
Keywords developmental state, participation, Rwanda
Subject categories Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


The 21st century developmental state is envisaged as implying democratic participation. Rwanda both explicitly aspires to follow the developmental state example and eloquently ascribes to far-reaching participatory ideals, and a number of development programmes, ‘home grown initiatives’, have been launched, allegedly reviving traditional participatory practices. Based on original material, this article analyses local experiences of the participation entailed in some of these programmes. In the conclusion, the poor practice of participation reported is found to point to inherent contradiction of the idea of a democratic and participatory version of the developmental state.

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