Constitution-making for democracy has always been a highly political and contested process. It has never been more ambitious, or more difficult, than today as politicians and experts attempt to build democratic institutions that will foster peace and stability in countries torn by violent conflict. The extended investigation out of which this book has grown has ranged across three continents. It has examined such apparently intractable cases as Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sri Lanka and Fiji, as well as apparent 'success stories' like South Africa, Ghana and Uganda.The authors, while regarding democracy as a general entitlement, refuse to subscribe to a triumphalist view which sees it as a universal panacea. Instead they seek to understand how democratic institutions actually facilitate (or sometimes fail to facilitate) improved governance and the management of conflict in a variety of national settings.This thoughtful and empirical set of explorations is highly relevant to other societies wrestling with similar problems of institutional design in situations of democratic transition and/or deep-seated social conflict.
Can Democracy Be Designed?