Institutional reform in post-war and divided societies aims to mitigate and reduce potential risk of conflict emerging from misalignment between a society and its institutional designs. These reforms typically address problems such as the exclusion of minorities, the lack of accountability and legitimacy, and inefficiency of existing institutions.
There is, however, little systematic theoretical and empirical knowledge of institutional reform in the six areas related to the ISP project (territorial state structure, electoral system, party regulations, government system, security sector, and judiciary). On the one hand, we often lack theoretical explanations for success and failure of reform that explain the causal mechanism between the process of reform and its desired outcomes. On the other hand, empirical knowledge on the factors that determine institutional reform are often based on case studies and results are rarely generalizable.
In the 3rd ISP Network Conference we will shed light on these problems from two distinct perspectives: the determinants of the design and quality of institutional reform and how reform design and quality are related to the desired outcomes of institutional reform such as peace and democracy.