Elections in Post-Conflict Scenarios: Constraints and Dangers
Reilly, B. (2002) Elections in Post-Conflict Scenarios: Constraints and Dangers. International Peacekeeping, 9 (2). pp. 118-139.
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Elections have become an integral element of many United Nations peacekeeping missions over the past decade. The reason for this is clear: the focus of most UN missions has shifted from one of pure peacebuilding to one of state re-building or, in some cases like East Timor, state creation. In such cases, elections provide an inescapable means for jump-starting a ne past-conflict political order, for stimulating the development of democratic politics; for choosing representatives; for forming governments; and for conferring legitimacy upon the new political order. They also provide a clear signal that legitimate domestic authority has been returned —and hence that the role of the international community may be coming to an end. For all of these reasons, elections have become a central part of many LIN peacekeeping missions. In addition, electoral assistance outside peacekeeping missions has become something of a growth industry since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the ‘third wave’ of democratization has led to a threefold increase in the number of putatively democratic governments around the globe.
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