Can Democracy be Designed?: The Politics of Institutional Choice in Conflict-Torn Societies

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Sunil Bastian, Robin Luckham, Anne Marie Goetz
Zed Books, 2003 - Political Science - 336 pages

Constitution-making for democracy has always been a highly political and contested process. It has never been more ambitious, or more difficult, than today as politicians and experts attempt to build democratic institutions that will foster peace and stability in countries torn by violent conflict. The extended investigation out of which this book has grown has ranged across three continents. It has examined such apparently intractable cases as Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sri Lanka and Fiji, as well as apparent 'success stories' like South Africa, Ghana and Uganda.

The authors, while regarding democracy as a general entitlement, refuse to subscribe to a triumphalist view which sees it as a universal panacea. Instead they seek to understand how democratic institutions actually facilitate (or sometimes fail to facilitate) improved governance and the management of conflict in a variety of national settings.

This thoughtful and empirical set of explorations is highly relevant to other societies wrestling with similar problems of institutional design in situations of democratic transition and/or deep-seated social conflict.

 

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Contents

Democratic Institutions and Democratic Politics
14
The Politics of Institutional Design
60
Aaron Griffiths and James Katalikawe
93
The Political Economy of Successful
120
Proportional Representation Political Violence
170
numerical realities
176
Explaining the political subordination of women
183
Electoral Engineering and the Politicisation
220
The Politics of Institutional Choice
303
Index
321
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About the author (2003)

Sunil Bastian is Director of International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Colombo.

Robin Luckham was Research Associate at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, following early retirement.
Sunil Bastian is Director of International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Colombo.

Robin Luckham was Research Associate at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, following early retirement.

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