Coalitions and the Government of National Unity in Mauritius

At the end of the colonial period, Mauritius was an isolated plantation economy in the Indian Ocean almost entirely dependent on the export of sugar; its multi-ethnic population had done battle in violent urban riots and was deeply divided. Yet in the two decades after it gained its independence in 1968, it became a development 'superstar' with stable growth, democracy, social welfare and equity.

It's surely worth knowing why. This DLP study finds that education was influential; many of the first generation of post-independence leaders were graduates of the main island’s elite government secondary school, and at least half of the national unity cabinet of 21 people had been university students in London. A free media, new civic associations, and the Catholic Church gave steady support. And all of this was set against the sober realisation that the country had to unify – or sink.

 

Researchers: Deborah Brautigam (American University, Washington) and Tania Diolle

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About DLP

The Developmental Leadership Program (DLP) is an international research initiative that explores how leadership, power and political processes drive or block successful development.

DLP focuses on the crucial role of home-grown leaderships and coalitions in forging legitimate political settlements and institutions that promote developmental outcomes, such as sustainable growth, political stability and inclusive social development.

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