Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Fragile Political Culture in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1960 to 2015
by Buhendwa, Bagula Desire, Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo, 2016, 272; 10127818
Abstract (Summary)

Congolese political culture in this dissertation is about politics as it was intended rather than how politicians in the Democratic Republic of the Congo practice democracy, and how the Citizens of the DRC actually practice democracy all the while referring to the process simply as "politics”. Many Congolese citizens hate politics; it makes them think about what they see on television and read in the newspaper, indifferent bureaucracies with corrupt officials, negative campaigns, and politicians fighting and screaming at one another in public venues.

Defining democracy as "government by and for the people" raises a fundamental question: Who will do the governing and in whose interests should the government be responsive when the people are in disagreement and have divergent preferences?

This dissertation discusses four principles; (a) a conceptual understanding of democratic patterns in the historic democratization of the DRC; (b) the theoretical and economic principles of Congolese elites and democratic leadership patterns; (c) the populists’ views and feelings about the politics Congolese citizens don't accept based on what Congolese people actually say and (d) the association of democratic principles with the Congolese “Res publica”, -the economic integration and assimilation below the Elite strata.

In principle, a democracy can be organized and run; in practice, as a modern democracy which exhibits a variety of formal governmental institutions such as like legislatures and courts, as well as political parties and interest group systems. Democratic patterns and regularities appear when these institutions are examined from the perspective of how majoritarian or how consensual their rules and practices are. The government by the majority and in accordance with the majority's wishes obviously comes closer to the democratic ideal of "government by and for the people" than government by and responsive to a minority. The alternative perplexity of the answer is: Can we achieve as much consensual inclusivity as possible? There is no difference with the majority rule but instead of being satisfied with narrow decision-making majorities, consensual democracy seeks to maximize the size of these majorities.

In this dissertation, the concept of "democratic leadership" has two different meanings: Primo, a democratic leader is accountable in the single meaning that he/she is elected by the people or appointed by the publicly elected; Segundo, also imbued as a "democratic leadership'' involves suggestions of a certain leadership character or personality, expressed by the relations, actions, orientations and goals of a leader or a group of leaders, which have influence over the goals and actions decided for a political community. The interaction between these two definitions of "democratic leadership" will help to explain concerns regarding the relationship between democracy as a political system of the Elite and the average Congolese citizens "democracy” as leadership orientation, coupled with the populists’ consent on how "people" might become a responsible public – “Democratia”-or what Congolese citizens might do to make politics more like the democracy they want it to be. In Chapter Five and Six we identify the important relationships between economic and democratic decline which begin with a global overview of the economic crisis in terms of economic growth, unemployment, and Congolese poverty levels as published by the World Bank and the National Bank of Kinshasa(Date), because my informed opinion leads me to believe that equal conditions stimulate the human mind to seek truth and formulate ideas, which provides a free path to success and gratification of life through public concord and political stability with a strong and vigilant leadership.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Grinde, Donald D.
Commitee: Ekeh, Peter, Meyerowitz, Ruth
School: State University of New York at Buffalo
Department: Global Gender Studies
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 77/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Cultural anthropology, Political science, Public policy, Sub Saharan Africa Studies
Keywords: Culture, Democracy, Economic development, Leadership, Politics
Publication Number: 10127818
ISBN: 9781339858500
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