Three leading areas of democratic studies today are 1) the quality of democracy, 2) the “gray zone,” (regimes that combine features of authoritarianism and democracy in previously unfamiliar ways), and 3) post-conflict democracy-building. The latter deals with failed or war-torn states that would seem to be the least promising candidates for democratization. Why, then, has state-building or political reconstruction in these cases come to be identified with democracy-building? The most important reason is the unrivaled legitimacy that democracy today enjoys as a form of governance. Those international organizations and countries that have taken the lead in responding to postconflict situations cannot easily evade their public commitment to democracy.
Building Democracy After Conflict: Introduction
Issue Date January 2005
Page Numbers 5-8