Bonn: German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)
Price: 6 €
In the context of high levels of violence, El Salvador and the Philippines have had relatively successful democratisation processes. Nonetheless, despite decades of external institutional support, both countries have not yet achieved peace, nor fully consolidated democracy. What explains the lack of effectiveness of external state-building and democracy-support policies, and how could it be overcome? I argue that one explaining factor is the lack of commitment to pursue structural reforms, both from the donor and the partnerside. It is what I call the "ownership dilemma". With the connivance of local elites, external donors mainly focus on capacitating certain state institutions, rather than on advancing the inclusiveness of the democratic system. Donors' policies reflect the existence of unresolved conflicting objectives between the alleged goals of state-building and democracy support programmes - democratic consolidation and sustainable peace - and policies that both donors and partners are ready to implement. At the same time, however, as both case studies show, windows of opportunity enable donors to support change and overcome local elites' hesitations.