8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Charles A. Wagoner
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Here's an excerpt from an article I wrote comparing Collier's book with one by Fareed Zakaria ('The Future of Freedom'):
Collier's main argument in his book is that a successful transition to democracy requires the supply of two basic public goods--security and accountability--and that such should be supplied internationally since most developing countries lack adequate internal checks and balances and security mechanisms that guarantee the provision of both. Furthermore, security and accountability can mitigate the three factors listed above that undermine democracy: lack of economic growth, large ethnic diversity, and the abundance of natural resources as a hindrance to accountability.
Now for the first public good, security. When a Third World dictator announces that he wants to transition his country to democracy, the usual carrot used by the international community is that of aid. However, as Collier demonstrates, the increase in aid often increases violence as aid money leaks into funding armies, and the embezzlement of aid along ethnic lines foments jealousy and conflict. (Collier 2009, 121-123) Rather, he asserts that a more effective carrot is a security guarantee, specifically against coups, on the basis of clean elections. "Key members of the international community [should] make a common commitment that should a government that has committed itself to some international standard of elections be ousted by a coup d'état, they would ensure that the government was reinstated, by military means if necessary." (Collier 2009, 204) The main objection to this idea, especially by non-interventionists, is that security guarantees obligate countries to go to war when it is not clearly in its interest to do so--no "clear and present danger," as it were. However, the likelihood of costly intervention decreases if security guarantees are credible, and could also be potentially less costly than the usual carrot of financial assistance. This works in two ways. First, a rebel movement would be less likely to undertake a coup if the regime is protected by a more powerful patron state. Further, the opposition, knowing that such protection rests on the regime's adherence to election standards, would be more likely to choose running for office over a coup, knowing that it lacks the resources to fight a more advanced foreign military and that there is always the chance that it might even win the election. Violence, then, appears less savory. Second, if the regime commits itself to hold an election and transfer power to whoever wins, but in the end does not honor the election results, then the patron states are under no contractual obligation to come to the rescue of the regime in the subsequent event of a coup. Given that sham elections tend to foment coups, it is in the interest of the regime to honor the election and transfer power rather than be left alone to deal with a potentially violent opposition. Thus, democracy becomes more savory than autocracy.
The second public good, accountability, in order to work effectively must also be provided by the international community during the interim in which the budding democracy develops economically. One of the problems with accountability in poor countries is that the bureaucracy is often so tightly controlled by an elite group, usually along ethnic lines as is the case for much of Africa. The minister of finance or the director of the central bank, for example, may have been appointed by the president by virtue of family relation or tribal affiliation. This often results in long-term monetary policy taking a back seat to embezzlement through various forms of patronage; or to put it another, their policies take on the form of "spend it while you got it," for it is never certain how long the regime will continue to have exclusive access to the public purse. According to Collier, if a country chooses to accept foreign aid, it should be willing to separate the creation of policy from the allocation of resources to ensure proper oversight and mitigate embezzlement. "The ministry should be responsible only for overall policy. Indeed, only once policy is separated from the spending of money is the ministry likely to give policy serious consideration: at present attention is often driven by the scope for kickbacks." (Collier 2009, 216-217) Once policymaking is given adequate attention by the heads of ministries, aid donors can help governments put proper systems of accountancy and allocation into place through technical assistance, or the supply of skilled people. This serves as a reversal of the historical trend whereby aid agencies like the World Bank and the IMF set policies for a struggling country and bind the flow of money into that country to their adherence to such policies. Rather, it gives the policymakers breathing room to be creative and design the policies themselves, while the donors ensure that aid does not leak into patronage. If the policymakers have no oversight over the allocation of funds, the lack of temptation to cheat the system and embezzle money gives way to a distribution of funds not subject to ethnic identity. This in turn removes many potential obstacles to forming common national identity since policymakers are now beholden not just to the interests of their own ethnic group but to an entire nation of constituents. Nor are they under the thumb of the IMF or the World Bank in setting policy for them, but they do get to enjoy the benefits of outside expertise in economics and finance that they may lack domestically.
For the full article, go here: