We thank Nancy Bermeo, Nisha Fazal, Desha Girod, Terrence Lyons, Ingrid Samset, anonymous reviewers, and co-panelists and participants at the Columbia University Comparative Politics Seminar, 2008 International Studies Association annual convention, and 2009 American Political Science Association annual meeting for helpful comments on earlier drafts of the paper. We also thank Rachel McMillan and Sean O’Keefe for research assistance.
Democratization after Civil War: A Brush-Clearing Exercise1
Article first published online: 10 MAY 2012
© 2012 International Studies Association
International Studies Quarterly
Volume 56, Issue 4, pages 801–808, December 2012
How to Cite
Fortna, V. P. and Huang, R. (2012), Democratization after Civil War: A Brush-Clearing Exercise. International Studies Quarterly, 56: 801–808. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2478.2012.00730.x
- Issue published online: 16 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 10 MAY 2012
Fortna, Virginia Page and Reyko Huang. (2012) Democratization after Civil War: A Brush-Clearing Exercise. International Studies Quarterly, doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2478.2012.00730.x © 2012 International Studies Association
Why do some states emerging from civil war take significant strides toward democracy while others do not? The existing literature comes to contradictory and puzzling findings, many of which, we argue, are driven by methodological problems. We examine the determinants of democratization in the short, medium, and long term after civil wars ending between 1945 and 1999. Other than a short-term effect of negotiated settlements, we find little support for the prominent claim that the outcome of the war shapes the prospects for postwar democratization. Neither does peacekeeping foster democratization. Meanwhile, consistent with the more general democratization literature, we find that economic development aids democratization while oil wealth hinders it. In short, we find the determinants of democratization to be much the same for post-civil war societies as for other societies.