Institutional reform in post-conflict and divided societies aims to mitigate conflict risks that may emerge from the 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 of political authorities, and the inefficiency of existing institutions. These processes of institution building in post-conflict countries are thereby often path dependent: pre-war institutions do not cease to exist with the outbreak of violence, but often continue to function during conflict and post-conflict periods. Moreover, the creation of institutional arrangements after war is often influenced by the dynamics of armed conflict. There is, however, a research gap on the study of agents, modes and patterns of institutional change in conflict-affected societies. This roundtable discusses this question by linking it to the works of the „Institutions for Sustainable Peace“ network from a comparative area studies perspective. In the last three years, this network systematically brought together specialists from different topical areas of research as well as diverse theoretical and methodological backgrounds to explore the question of which institutions work for divided societies and post-conflict settings.