Responding to the problem of increased state failure, donors have shifted from a top -down donor driven to a bottom- up inclusive approach. Based on six months of fieldwork in Nairobi, Kenya, this thesis explores how despite the shift, the donors still govern at a distance by promoting notions of democracy and good governance . Democracy promotion, examined in this thesis, has emerged as the dominant philosophy in rebuilding post-conflict societies. Strengthening democracy especially in African states is assumed to be a therapeutic solution to the global threat posed by fragile states. Working in an international NGO engaged in democracy promotion, I employ discursive and actor oriented approaches to understand the effects of knowledge transfer projects in promoting liberal western democracy. I analyse from a donor perspective how policies are formed and practiced. I show how aid is now directed to policy reform rather to the conventional investment in neoliberal economic projects that dominated in the 1980´s and 1990´s. This change in aims has been accompanied by a different modus operandi: in what is described as the new aid architecture . Legitimacy is gained by reframing donor-recipient relations in the language of partnership, participation and ownership. In this thesis I will I explore in particular how an artificial power sharing formula that is created to promote democracy and stability, is manipulated by locals using their agency, to create new identities. I look at how the term democracy shifts meaning from the concept of being the will of the people to being conditioned through kinship principles. This conditionality of democracy creates phantom identities like the state and civil society. I show how the convergence and interface of the two forms of knowledge, western and Somali, have exclusion and inclusion effects, including the phantom identities that are created to facilitate democracy promotion excluding the women, the youth and the minorities.