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Unpacking the relationship between political institutions and conflict recurrence

Fiedler, Charlotte (2019) Unpacking the relationship between political institutions and conflict recurrence. PhD thesis, University of Essex.


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What role do political institutions play in determining whether countries coming out of conflict manage to remain peaceful or revert to war? The current literature has addressed this question either from a highly aggregated perspective, by analyzing a country’s regime type, or has focused on one specific institution only, namely post-conflict elections. Results of the first approach show no clear connection between democracy and conflict recurrence, while results of the second have led several authors to warn of the destabilizing effects of elections in post-conflict contexts. In this dissertation I instead show that specific types of political participation can significantly increase a country’s chances to remain peaceful. Three main chapters unpack the relationship between political institutions and conflict recurrence. The first chapter looks at how local elections can reduce the risk of conflict recurrence by providing the population with access to the political system and giving the post-conflict elite an opportunity to influence policy-making. The second chapter takes a closer look at the role institutional change, in the form of constitution-writing, can play in stabilizing post-conflict countries. The third chapter then turns the focus to international efforts to promote peace after civil war and uses Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA), rather than quantitative analyses as in the first two chapters, to identify successful strategies of international peacebuilding. Overall, this thesis expands the current literature by disaggregating the political-set up of post-conflict countries and demonstrating that 1) specific political institutions have a pacifying effect 2) institutional change can be good for peace and 3) international support to political processes and governance is an important strategy in building sustainable peace.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Charlotte Fiedler
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2019 15:21
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2019 15:21

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