Progress in Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast had one of the most successful economies in West Africa, earning the country the tag “African Miracle” or “the South Africa of West Africa.” However, after a disputed presidential election held in October and November 2010, the country has moved more and more toward chaos and anarchy, with an estimated 1,500 dead and over a million displaced. 

Like Kenya, which suffered violence during the 2007 presidential elections but is considered an economic success story, Ivory Coast seems to be experiencing unrest because of moves toward good governance and democratization. Many people have been baffled by this paradox, which seems to be repeated in many formerly despotic countries when they try to develop a new democratic order. How can things get worse when we push for good? Aren’t they supposed to get better?

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