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IP 3 (Phase II): Institutional strategies for post-conflict democratization

This project focuses on the challenge of democratization in post-civil war situations. In these situations, as a rule, both the polity and the demos are deeply contested: Civil war has already undermined the state's political institutions and there is no agreement as to what should constitute the popular unit on which democracy is based. Wherever the demos and its institutions are challenged, it will prove difficult to make majority decisions stick and the risk of recurrent conflict is likely to increase. Thus, the main research question of the project is:

In post-conflict situations, what institutional designs and media-based mechanisms of identity-formation are likely to produce democratic outcomes?

It will assess three regions that are particularly conflict prone and that exhibit unstable and/or low levels of democracy: the Balkans, the Caucasus and the Great Lakes region in Africa. Given the high salience of governance challenges in post-conflict states, to clarify what political and media institutions could contribute to stable democratic rule in such settings is of major importance.

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Project leaders:
Prof. Lars-Erik Cederman, ETH Zurich
Prof. Simon Hug, University of Geneva

Postdoctoral researcher:
Dr. Doreen Spörer-Wagner, ETH Zurich

Doctoral students:
Nino Abzianidze, University of Zurich
Nils-Christian Bormann, ETH Zurich
Manuel Vogt, ETH Zurich