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Hamilton College

Publication Date

Fall 2015

Program Name

Rwanda: Post-Genocide Restoration and Peacebuilding


Political quotas are controversial solutions for addressing the representative problems that arise within democratic institutions. The fundamental reasoning behind a state adopting the usage of political quotas is to promote political empowerment for its citizens. The Constitution of Rwanda ensures that numerically different identity groups have political representation vis-à-vis political quotas. Does this written decree of democratic progress on the macro level extend to effectively elevate the social and political status of individuals within the micro level? The simplified question: are political quotas viable solutions for protecting political representation amongst different sects of a state’s population within democratic institutions? Results conclude that in Rwanda, political representation at the macro level does not necessarily transcend to the micro level—which would ultimately establish equality amongst different identity groups. Political representation is, however; and this is the fundamental benefit of political quotas, a means through which Rwandan citizenry can enter the political discourse and produce shifts within the legal framework to better advance their social, economic, and political rights.


Community-Based Research | Demography, Population, and Ecology | Inequality and Stratification | Place and Environment | Political Science | Politics and Social Change


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