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most important part of Europe’s security perimeter in the 21st
century may be its southern rim. The migration crisis of 2015 was only a
foretaste of the demographic, economic and political pressures that are
building up in the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa. Yet the approaches tried by
European powers in this vital and growing region have generally failed. They
need to get it right as new rival enters the neighborhood – China.
Since the collapse of communism, Western powers have kept urging African countries to establish democracies by holding elections. Yet democracy is a complex institution that does not adapt well to multiethnic, impoverished societies – especially when it is imposed from outside. Too often the trappings of centralized democracy have been used to legitimize “elected autocrats,” yet there are signs the import will take if grafted onto native roots.
Dr. Emmanuel Martin
Like other areas of public policy, development aid has had its recurrent fads. The pendulum has swung from socialist-style big-push schemes to pro-market reforms and their latest iteration, results-based aid. This micro-oriented approach has recently come under attack for neglecting the wider “macro” environment of states and institutions. Decades after the flaws of the traditional aid model were exposed, economists are still casting about for a better alternative.