Democracy, Democratisation and Peace – Lessons from Recent Experience

Dan Smith
FriEnt | 2011

Essay Series - Part VII

It is generally acknowledged that democracy is good for peace. This has become an unchallenged truth, often expressed without important nuances. Support for democratisation is widely and rightly regarded as an essential component of building peace and stability but the lack of nuance means there is a persistent risk that the challenges involved in democratisation are ignored or at least under-stated. In particular, experience has shown that external actors seeking to support democratisation often have much too short a frame in mind. As a result, elections are often associated with increased risks of renewed violence in countries attempting to recover from violent conflict.

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