Date of Award

Spring 2017

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Studies

First Advisor

Garth Myers

Second Advisor

Seth Markle


Since the culmination of the Genocide of 1994, Rwanda has become one of the fastest growing economies in the world, while also showing great improvements on human development indicators. This has made Rwanda a brilliant example of post-conflict reconstruction. At the same time, the nation-state has been led by a single party government that works under a framework of a nominal multi-party democracy. While a large part of Rwanda’s post-conflict development has been made possible by the government in power, this paper argues that Rwanda is developing towards a completely authoritarian state structure. Development is concentrated in very few regions of the country, votes are occasionally rigged, large amount of power is concentrated in a few hands, and there is a constant war that is partly sponsored by Rwanda. All of these factors have a central figure above them: President Paul Kagame. While the West continues to praise Rwanda for the remarkable strides it has made on human development indicators and in liberalising its economy, it fails to ignore the many serious issues that plague the nation-state. Rwanda’s story of development cannot be sustained if structural changes are not implemented in Rwanda in the near future.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College, Hartford Connecticut for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in international Studies.