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Institutional Reforms and Peacebuilding : Change, Path-Dependency and Societal Divisions in Post-War
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This book deals with the question how institutional reform can contribute to peacebuilding in post-war and divided societies.
Institutional reform in post-war and divided societies in the Global South aims to mitigate conflict risks that emerge from the misalignment between a society and its institutional designs. These reforms typically address various problems such as the exclusion of minorities, the lack of accountability and legitimacy, and the inefficiency of existing institutions. However, processes of institution-building are often path-dependent: Even with the outbreak of violence institutions do not cease to exist, but continue to function during armed conflict and after its termination. New institutional arrangements are thus complementary or link to former institutional experiences. A second element of path-dependency exists in regard to the societal context as well as the dynamics of the armed conflict. While these problems are recognized, there is a two-fold research gap in the study of causes, patterns, and consequences of institutional change in violence ridden societies that the edited volume seeks to address.
The main argument of this book centers on the assumption that there is a mutual relationship between societal cleavages, the experience of large-scale violence, and institutional reform in the aftermath of war. This relationship has been, however, both under-theorized and empirically under-investigated. However, to support sustainable peace, institutional change needs to account for the related effects and conditions that come out of societal cleavages and pre-conflict and wartime institutions. The volume aims to take forward current debates on institutional choices and institutional reforms in post-conflict societies in the Global South. It adds a new perspective by linking debates on institutional change with those of institution-building during or after major episodes of armed conflict. By highlighting different interactions and patterns of institutional reform, the volume makes an important contribution to the debate on institutional change in the Global South under the specific circumstance of former armed conflict. It thus provides a valuable theoretical and empirical contribution to research on institutions and institutional change in divided and post-conflict societies.
This book will be of much interest to students of peacebuilding, conflict resolution, development studies, security studies and IR.