Toward a Developmental State: Investigating the Developmental State Concept in Rwanda’s Foreign Policy Motivations 1994 – 2021

Abstract:

The context of Rwanda’s international politics is unavoidably imbedded with the 1994 genocide and the subsequent reign of President Paul Kagame. However, this thesis problematized the developmental state concept in Rwanda’s context by delving into Rwanda’s development and foreign policy motivations covering the period 1994 to 2021. Taking the economic development angle, the study had three objectives; the first was to find out the capacity of Rwanda’s bureaucracy and the executive leadership to meet the concept of a developmental state in comparison to Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea, the second objective was to determine if the economy is a motivating factor in Rwanda’ s foreign policy and finally assessed the basis of the seemingly continued strong economic relations between Rwanda and Western democracies while turning a blind eye towards authoritarianism as per the critics of the regime. The ontological position of the study is that economic development existence is relevant to states’ existence and their relations with other states. The epistemology bends towards both positivism and interpretivism due to a focus on the factual objective analysis of the economy and the roles of individual actors. This study brings significant contribution to academia on the concept of a developmental state in the African context, the capacity of bureaucracies and the leadership in Rwanda to meet the developmental state concept, the conduct of foreign relations between Rwanda and other states in addition to informing discussions among foreign policy professionals regarding economic diplomacy on the African continent and beyond. The study used both primary and secondary data by relying on interviews with key experts on economic development and the Rwandese public. The secondary data was gathered from academic journals, books, media and official state statistics on the economy and publications. The data collected was analyzed using Microsoft Excel and represented using graphs, pie charts and thematic analysis of the qualitative data was done. The findings revealed that although Rwanda has made considerable economic progress in the last 25 years, it cannot be considered a developmental state in the context of what transpired in East Asia due to low volumes of trade, low levels of industrialization and a bureaucracy that is still maturing despite the pragmatic leadership of President Paul Kagame. It was also evident that Rwanda pursues foreign policy in line with its economic goals and the continuous economic development support from Western democracies is more about national interests by the West, international solidarity with the Rwandese, ‘guilt’ diplomacy and the fact that Rwanda is using that aid as intended due to very low levels of corruption. Additionally, Rwandese believe they still need that support until they can stand on their own economically.
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APA

Oyagah, O (2024). Toward a Developmental State: Investigating the Developmental State Concept in Rwanda’s Foreign Policy Motivations 1994 – 2021. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/toward-a-developmental-state-investigating-the-developmental-state-concept-in-rwanda-s-foreign-policy-motivations-1994-2021

MLA 8th

Oyagah, Opondo "Toward a Developmental State: Investigating the Developmental State Concept in Rwanda’s Foreign Policy Motivations 1994 – 2021" Afribary. Afribary, 04 May. 2024, https://afribary.com/works/toward-a-developmental-state-investigating-the-developmental-state-concept-in-rwanda-s-foreign-policy-motivations-1994-2021. Accessed 24 May. 2024.

MLA7

Oyagah, Opondo . "Toward a Developmental State: Investigating the Developmental State Concept in Rwanda’s Foreign Policy Motivations 1994 – 2021". Afribary, Afribary, 04 May. 2024. Web. 24 May. 2024. < https://afribary.com/works/toward-a-developmental-state-investigating-the-developmental-state-concept-in-rwanda-s-foreign-policy-motivations-1994-2021 >.

Chicago

Oyagah, Opondo . "Toward a Developmental State: Investigating the Developmental State Concept in Rwanda’s Foreign Policy Motivations 1994 – 2021" Afribary (2024). Accessed May 24, 2024. https://afribary.com/works/toward-a-developmental-state-investigating-the-developmental-state-concept-in-rwanda-s-foreign-policy-motivations-1994-2021