Shamine, Yasmine
September 2008
Canadian Foreign Policy (CFP);2008, Vol. 14 Issue 3, p87
Academic Journal
This paper explores the ideological and theoretical assumptions about democratization that inform Canada's work in Haiti. It argues that Canada's approach to democratic change assumes a top-down process that prioritizes the development of sound institutional practices. This "institutional modelling" approach has a tendency to over-value stability during the democratic transition, which can permit elite power structures to remain undisturbed. Further, branding Haiti a "fragile" state, in other words the security-centred focus we have adopted to post-conflict countries, has intensified our bias toward order. Our approach also directs inadequate attention to socio-economic structures of power. If Canada is seeking to empower those who historically have been marginalized through its democracy aid, it will need to begin by acknowledging that upsetting structures of power and authority is a messy and chaotic business, rather than a technocratic and orderly undertaking.


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