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War and Democratization: Legality, Legitimacy, and Effectiveness

Taylor & Francis Group

Book project

  • Grimm, Sonja/Merkel, Wolfgang (Eds.) (2008): War and Democratization. Legality, Legitimacy and Effectiveness. Democratization, Special Issue, Vol. 15, No. 3. London/New York, NY: Routledge, 236 S.

Online access (restricted)
Title and contents (pdf)

Promotion of democracy in post-war and post-conflict societies became a hot topic during the 1990s. External actors linked their peace-building efforts to the promotion of democracy. Four modes of promotion of democracy by external actors can be distinguished: (1) enforcing democratization by enduring post-war occupation; (2) restoring an elected government by military intervention; (3) intervening in on-going massacres and civil war with military forces (“humanitarian intervention”) and thereby curbing the national sovereignty of those countries; and (4) forcing democracy on rogue states by “democratic intervention”, in other words, democracy through war. In this special issue we consider the legality, legitimacy, and effectiveness of the four modes where the international community of states not only felt impelled to engage in military humanitarian or peace-building missions but also in long-term state- and democracy-building. All cases analysed here suggest that embedding democratization in post-war and post-conflict societies entails a comprehensive agenda of political, social, and economic methods of peace-building. If external actors withdraw before the roots of democracy are deep enough and before democratic institutions are strong enough to stand alone, then the entire endeavour may fail.