I am grateful to Robin Luckham, Anna Schmidt and Scott Straus for comments they made on an earlier version of this article.
Democracy, Liberty and Montesquieu: Constructing Accountable Order in African Conflict States
Article first published online: 8 JAN 2013
© 2013 The Author. IDS Bulletin © 2013 Institute of Development Studies
Special Issue: Piecing it Together: Post-conflict Security in an Africa of Networked, Multilevel Governance
Volume 44, Issue 1, pages 87–98, January 2013
How to Cite
Leonard, D. K. (2013), Democracy, Liberty and Montesquieu: Constructing Accountable Order in African Conflict States. IDS Bulletin, 44: 87–98. doi: 10.1111/1759-5436.12009
- Issue published online: 8 JAN 2013
- Article first published online: 8 JAN 2013
Without appropriate institutional checks multiparty democracy can rekindle violent conflicts rather than help to resolve them. The absolutism of ‘imperial presidents’ is at the root of many of Africa's civil wars and the restoration of this institution in post-conflict states will not help them find security for their citizens. Following Montesquieu, I argue that ‘liberty’, in the form of checks on executive power, must accompany or precede multiparty democracy in post-conflict reconstruction.