The Elgar Companion to Post-Conflict Transition
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The Elgar Companion to Post-Conflict Transition

Edited by Hans-Joachim Giessmann, Roger Mac Ginty, Beatrix Austin and Christine Seifert

What are the main drivers of political transition and regime change? And to what extent do these apparently seismic political changes result in real change? These questions are the focus of this comparative study written by a mix of scholars and practitioners. This state-of-the-art volume identifies patterns in political transitions, but is largely unconvinced that these transitions bring about real change to the underlying structures of society. Patriarchy, land tenure, and economic systems often remain immune to change, despite the headlines.
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Key concepts in political transitions

Roger Mac Ginty


This chapter explores the key concepts that are used in explorations of political transitions and regime change. It is a guide for how to “read” transitions and points to biases in the conventional literature on the topic. It discusses key themes that are the focus of the case studies of this book, such as the permanency (or otherwise) of change, the extent to which transitions are truly transformational, how transitions may spark other forms of division, gender, the political economy of transitions, and the aftermath of transitions. The chapter encourages us to be prudent in interpreting the extent of change, especially in terms of how it impacts on the everyday lives of citizens.

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