UNU-WIDER Interview Series: Nicolas van de Valle

Nicolas van de Walle, Professor, Cornell University
Annett Victorero

The intricate dynamic between foreign aid to Africa, democratic transitions and consolidation is the topic of a series of research papers being published under the ReCom Governance & Fragility theme this spring. In this interview we speak to Nicolas van de Walle, John S. Knight Professor of International Studies at Cornell University, whose upcoming WIDER working paper addresses a number of issues surrounding foreign aid and democracy in Mali.

Mali has had functioning multiparty democracy since the end of the one-party system in 1991. This was thought to be a stable arrangement until the political instability of this year. In the interview van de Walle discusses how donors could have supported democratic consolidation in a way that could have helped avert the current political crisis in Mali, and what lessons can democracy assistance and foreign aid communities drawn from the Malian experience.

Van de Walle presented his upcoming WIDER working paper in the ReCom results meeting held in Stockholm on 10 May titled 'Democracy and Fragility'. More information on the event and all the Power Point presentations can be found at the event page.