Demilitarizing Politics

Demilitarizing Politics : Elections on the Uncertain Road to Peace

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With the increasing use of elections as a tool for peacebuilding after civil war, the question of why some postconflict elections succeed and others fail is a crucial one. Tackling this question, Terrence Lyons finds the answer in the internal political dynamics that occur between the cease-fire and the voting. Lyons shows that the promise of elections can provide the incentive for the demilitarization of politics, the transformation of institutions made powerful by war into those capable of sustaining peace, so that warring parties will in fact choose to change their strategies and adapt to peaceful electoral competition. It is this process of demilitarization that is in turn key to meaningful elections; elections alone, as has been seen repeatedly, are not enough to advance the dual goals of peace and democracy. Incorporating evidence from a range of recent cases, Demilitarizing Politics offers a concrete strategy for peaceful change that can be implemented, and that can make a difference.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 185 pages
  • 160 x 236.2 x 17.8mm | 453.6g
  • Boulder, CO, United States
  • English
  • 1588263932
  • 9781588263933

Review quote

Terrence Lyons cuts through the reams of policy advice on how to end civil wars successfully with a simple, elegant strategy about what must be done before elections in a peacebuilding process. This is the most important contribution to the topic in a decade. - Susan L. Woodward, City University of New York
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About Terrence Lyons

Terrence Lyons is assistant professor in the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University. He is author of Voting for Peace: Postconflict Elections in Liberia and coeditor of African Foreign Policies: Power and Process.
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