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Marriage, Zoe (2018) 'The Elephant in the Room: Off-shore companies, liberalisation and extension of presidential power in DR Congo.' Third World Quarterly, 39 (5). pp. 889-905.

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In the Democratic Republic of Congo, donors promoted rapid liberalisation and presidential elections in the aftermath of the war, and after two terms, President Kabila has not left office. This article engages with the question of how liberalisation and elections are connected, and how they are related to the extension of presidential power. It finds that the international market for minerals has shaped the domestic political economy but its nature has effectively been ignored in the formulation of donor policy; efforts at regulating trade have been concentrated on due diligence of origin in Congo but have not addressed the secrecy of international trade. Liberalisation has removed control of economic resources from Congo, provided returns for elite politicians and funded violence to control the disenfranchised population. The offshore companies are the elephant in the room; without acknowledging them, analysis of the liberalisation and its interaction with presidential tenure lacks assessment of the opportunities, interests and power that shaped the processes.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: DR Congo, democratisation, liberalisation, conflict minerals, donors, offshore
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Development Studies
ISSN: 01436597
Copyright Statement: © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2018 09:37
Related URLs: ... 97.2018.1447373 (Publisher URL)

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