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Rwanda under the RPF: Assessing Twenty Years of Post-Conflict Governance

September 17, 2013

Date & Time: Friday, 4 October, 9AM-5PM & Saturday, 5 October, 9AM-1PM

Place: Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

Conference Speakers to include: Gerald Gahima, Jean-Paul Kimonyo, Filip Reyntjens, Shyaka Anastase, Fred Golooba-Mutebi, An Ansoms and David Booth. You can download the full programme here.

Conference in partnership with the Department of Politics and International Studies at SOAS, the Journal of Eastern African Studies and the Centre for African Studies at the University of London.

In the nearly two decades since the 1994 genocide, Rwanda has experienced substantial political, social and economic change, due mainly to the ambitious policies of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). Analyses of RPF rule, especially since Paul Kagame became President in 2000, vary greatly, with some scholars characterising it as a visionary form of post-conflict governance and development and others as a destructive brand of national social engineering and the steady entrenchment of authoritarianism. While some commentators describe this period as one of major political reform and innovation, others emphasise continuities between the RPF and previous Rwandan regimes, especially in terms of the centralisation of power.

This conference, and the subsequent special issue of the Journal of Eastern African Studies (JEAS), will bring together a broad spectrum of commentators to debate the nature of Rwandan politics under the RPF and its impact on the post-genocide reconstruction process, regional relations and the wellbeing of everyday Rwandans. Rather than simply commemorating the twentieth anniversary of the genocide, the conference and special issue will analyse the nature and effects of the RPF’s particular brand of governance, including in shaping Rwanda’s future political, social and economic trajectories.

The conference organisers and editors of the JEAS special issue are Jason Mosley, research associate at the African Studies Centre in Oxford and managing editor of JEAS, and Phil Clark, reader in comparative and international politics, SOAS.