Democracy Promotion Publications

Securing Development and Peace in the Niger Delta: A Social and Conflict Analysis for Change

Jan 26, 2012
Few regions in the world have been as unfortunate as Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta. The delta’s abundant natural wealth stands in stark contrast to its palpable underdevelopment. The oil sector accounts for approximately 95 percent of Nigeria’s export earnings and over 80 percent of federal government revenue, but for nearly two decades the delta has been mired in conflict and violence that threatens human security and the national economy.

Chronic Violence and its Reproduction: Perverse Trends in Social Relations, Citizenship, and Democracy in Latin America

Nov 01, 2011
This report reviews a broad literature on the causes and social effects of chronic violence in Latin America and details the consistent and diverse ways that chronic violence undermines social relations and support for democracy.

Women, Muslim Laws and Human Rights in Nigeria: A Keynote Address

Jul 19, 2011
What is the meaning of Shari’a law? How can we understand its implementation in different contexts, given the diversity in the practice of Islam in Africa and around the globe? What are the elements of Shari’a that are particularly relevant to the position of women and gender relations in the African nation(s) under consideration?

Election Observation Missions: Making them Count

Jul 19, 2011
International election observation is a work in progress, much like the international democratic system it aims to promote and develop. Today election observation is disproportionately focused on the pre-election and election periods at the expense of the post-election period. International organizations, national governments, and civil society are familiar with what is expected both before and during an election. Election “practices” exist and an international set of principles is now emerging to guide international elections observers both before and during elections.

Pilfering the Peace: The Nexus Between Corruption and Peacebuilding

Jul 12, 2011
How might the best practices of peacebuilding be applied to anti-corruption? Based on interviews with trainers and staff of the Burundi Leadership Training Programme (BLTP) of the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars, this article explores possible answers to that question in light of a successful peacebuilding effort. The author also flags ideas for future projects and research at the nexus of the two fields. 

A Challenge: The Arab Spring in North Africa and its Ramification on the Continent

Jul 12, 2011
After the demise of the Soviet Bloc and the democratic transitions of Eastern Europe which witnessed very dramatic changes in internal and external polices of those countries, many thought that this would be the model for the Arab world to emulate. However, it was generally thought that it would be a decade before the Arab world was ready for such a transition. Accelerating the pace of democratization it was believed, would pave the way for extremist religious parties to assume power, leading to a radical shift in the foreign policy orientation of key Arab states.

Making Peace After Genocide

Jul 12, 2011
It is a small country, no larger than the state of Maryland, with a population numbering just over 8 million. The dimensions of the human tragedy that has played itself out in Burundi since the country’s independence in 1960, however, are anything but diminutive: an estimated 400,000 killed, some 800,000 forced to flee the country, and many tens of thousands internally displaced. The human catastrophe that is Burundi is dwarfed in Africa only by its neighbor, Rwanda, which in 1994 saw close to 1 million of its population systematically murdered. This report examines the efforts that regional states and other international actors undertook to end the Burundian cycle of violence.

66. The Third Yugoslavia, 1992 - 2001

Jul 07, 2011
The Milosevic regime was a classic example of what has been called a “democradura,” i.e., a system which combined some of the mechanisms of democracy (with the result that Milosevic’s Socialists were, at one point, forced to enter into a coalition with Seselj’s Radicals, in order to form a government) with many overtly authoritarian features (among which one might mention the constriction of press freedom, the use of the police against the political opposition, and systematic violations of human rights). If, as the author has argued elsewhere, political legitimacy hinges on the observance of routinized, legal, and accepted procedures for political succession, then much depends on the origins of the given regime. Accordingly, to understand the nature of the Milosevic regime and the roots of its crisis, one must return to its origins in 1987.

The Peace Process in Colombia with the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia-AUC

Jul 07, 2011
In July 2003, the government of President Álvaro Uribe took the unprecedented step of opening formal peace talks with the AUC. This publication is the collection of papers that resulted from a conference hosted by the Wilson Center to explore key issues in the Government-AUC peace talks, the prospects for an eventual negotiated settlement, and the key challenges ahead.