Publisher: African Studies Association

The Structural Roots of The Drc'S Current Disasters: Deep Dilemmas

Michael G. Schatzberg
KEYWORDS: The Structural Roots of the DRC's Current Disasters: Deep Dilemmas


The staggering dilemmas facing the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) today have their structural roots in both the near and distant past. The purpose of this brief reflection is to consider the nature of these disasters and to deflect discussion away from those hardy perennials that somehow, usually incorrectly, pass as explanations of the Congo's problems. Ethnic tensions, corruption, and the absence of democracy all contribute in harmful ways to the current situation, but they do not tap into the deeper structural roots of the disasters besetting the DRC More specifically, by “structural roots” I mean those features of the Congolese political landscape that seem to recur, albeit in slightly different form, across time and therefore across different political regimes as well.

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