The Congo war and the prospects of state formation : Rwanda and Uganda compared

Publisert: 1. juli 2016

This paper analyses the effect of the Congo war on state power in Rwanda and Uganda. Drawing on theories of European state formation, it asks whether the Congo war has led to a strengthening of the state in the two countries. It is argued that this has not been the case. Neither the Rwandan nor the Ugandan state has been strengthened as a result of the war. I argue that this must be explained by changes in the state system, which have altered the links between war and state formation. The «war makes states» connection presupposes a positive relationship between regime maintenance and state formation. In contemporary Africa, there is no link. On the one hand, state survival is guaranteed anyway, no matter how weak the state is. On the other hand, regime survival does not depend on mobilisation of resources through taxation, since resources are available from elsewhere (aid, crime, plunder, globalisation, warlord politics).