Julia Strasheim / Hanne Fjelde

Pre-designing democracy: institutional design of interim governments and democratization in 15 post-conflict societies

Democratization, 2012, 1-24

Does the institutional design of interim governments influence post-conflict democratization? Based on the logic of political engineering we examine whether designing interim regimes to incorporate inclusive representation of all warring parties, constraints on executive power, and decentralized governance enhances the prospects of post-conflict democratization. By analysing 15 interim regimes between 1989 and 2006, we find that while inclusiveness is not associated with democratization, executive constraints and decentralization are. These results point to the importance of establishing institutions that diffuse political power and reduce the zero-sum character of the political contest during transition.