Chasing the "East Asian Miracle" in Africa? : A Case Study Analysis of the Rwandan Governance Reform Process Since 2000
In the last few decades, many governments around the world—especially in emerging economies—have strayed from neoliberal prescriptions to get closer to a model originating from East Asia: the developmental state. These East Asian countries (Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan) instead of just regulating market mechanisms, have exercised strong control over their economies and society through highly-ambitious long-term economic and social development programs implemented in tight
... with the private sector. Indeed, this phenomenon is worth exploring when we ask the question of how governance and political economy is evolving in the world and what are the new approaches that can inform governments. This Ph.D. thesis focuses on the evolution of strategies for social and economic development and more specifically on the emergence of developmental states in Africa. By looking at the case of Rwanda that is often considered as a success story in Africa, the aim of this thesis is to show how much this state is transforming its institutions in line with a model that resembles the developmental state, but with its specificities and perspective. Based on a large selection of primary sources gathered in Rwanda between 2015 and 2016, we argue that the system of governance of Rwanda has evolved in a different direction than the typical neo-liberal model often advocated by the West and is following a developmentalist approach much closer to some early East Asian developmental states. The case of Rwanda is a good starting point to analyze the emergence of alternative governance models in Africa which illustrate the current change in today's political economy.