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Publication

Governing ethnicity after genocide

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Subtitle:ethnic amnesia in Rwanda versus ethnic power-sharing in Burundi
A remarkable process of ethnic engineering has been taking place in neighbouring Burundi and Rwanda. After a failed democratization attempt in the early 1990s, both countries experienced an extremely violent transition process. Despite the many similarities between the two countries, they have adopted radically different approaches to address long-standing ethnic divisions. While Rwanda has opted for a policy based on ethnic amnesia and an integrationist policy centred around civic identity, Burundi has institutionalized its societal segmentation through ethnic powersharing along the lines of Lijpharts consociational model. This comparative analysis explains the differences from two perspectives. On the one hand, in line with historical antecedents, ethnicity is engineered in a way that serves political elite interests. On the other hand, path dependency, in particular the modality of political transition in both countries, explains the notably divergent policies on ethnicity.
Journal: Journal of Eastern African Studies
ISSN: 1753-1055
Volume: 8
Pages: 263 - 277
Publication year:2014