Post-Conflict Administrations as Democracy-Building Instruments

The period that stretches from the end of the Cold War until today has weathered the emergence of a large number of new states. With each addition, the international community has striven to regulate statehood and rein in its most erratic and unpredictable manifestations. In particular, the international community has tried to affect what kind of political regimes are set up in these new states. To reach that goal, multi-dimensional administrations have been set up by States or International Organizations to (re)build governmental institutions in territories where the governments have floundered completely. This strategy, while costly, has not been unsuccessful. Through international administrations of territories, several states have been rebuilt or restored, all of them endowed with democratic institutions. It is the aim of this Article to analyze the use of international administrations of territories to create or to reconstruct democratic states. After briefly recalling the status of democracy in international law (Section I), the Article explains how modern administrations of territories have proven to be democracy-building machines (Section II). Finally, it offers a critical appraisal of the contemporary resolve of the international community to create democratic states (Section III).

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