Handbook on Intervention and Statebuilding
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Handbook on Intervention and Statebuilding

Edited by Nicolas Lemay-Hébert

This innovative Handbook offers a new perspective on the cutting-edge conceptual advances that have shaped – and continue to shape – the field of intervention and statebuilding.
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Chapter 10: Democracy promotion and statebuilding

Sonja Grimm


In post-conflict contexts, the promotion of democracy, hence the development of democratic institutions and the empowerment of pro-democratic actors, is a tool to balance conflicting interests of warring factions, to offer institutional solutions for peaceful political decision-making, to constrain elite behaviour, and to educate a broader public in human rights and civil values. Democracy promotion seeks to contribute solving the root causes of conflict, and producing a stable, effective, legitimate liberal state. This chapter reviews peace, conflict and transition studies to analyse how democratization complements statebuilding in a post-conflict society. It reflects to what extent democratization as an endogenous process can be supported from the outside through democracy promotion and discovers the major challenges for post-conflict democratization. Despite several pitfalls, it argues that post-conflict democratization is without legitimate alternatives.

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