1st Edition

Peace or Democracy? Peacebuilding Dilemmas to Transition from Civil Wars

By Izabela Pereira Watts Copyright 2023
    316 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    316 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Contrary to the common belief that peace and democracy go hand in hand after a civil war, Pereira Watts argues they are, in fact, at a crossroads.

    Offering an innovative framework based on Philosophical, Actors, and Tactical considerations, Pereira Watts identifies 14 dynamic dilemmas in democratic peacebuilding, with respective trade-offs. She focuses on explaining the contradictions in modern post-conflict recovery, the challenges facing interim governments, and the international community’s role. Based on an analysis of more than 40 countries between 1989 and 2022 and more than 60 UN peace operations, she presents critical issues that commonly need to be addressed in such scenarios: Elections and Political Parties; the Constitution; Checks, Balances and Power-sharing; Transitional Justice; Human Rights, Amnesty, Truth Commissions and War Crimes Tribunals; Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration; and Media Reform and Civil Society. Solving any of these dilemmas leads to others that shape a complex apparatus for restoring peace and installing a new political regime.

    An essential resource for decision-takers, policymakers, international analysts and practitioners in the field of peacebuilding that will also be of great value to students of International Relations and Peace Studies as well as anyone interested in peacekeeping, democracy-building, and state-building.

    Introduction PART I Transitional dilemmas, violent democracies and the United Nations’ statecraft 1. The transition from civil war to hybrid peace: 14 dilemmas of peace, democracy and state-building in post-conflict societies  2. United Nations hybrid liberal peace dilemmas: contingent sovereignty, responsibility to protect and moral selectiveness  3.From guns to votes to doves: violent transition with ballots and bullets  4.What role do UN operations play in bringing simultaneously peace and democracy to post-civil war countries?  PART II Transitions to political, legal, civil and social orders  5.From war to peace: When elections and political parties promote democracy?  6. When the pen fails, the sword rules: constitution building and power-sharing for divided societies  7. No Justice, (no) peace? Democratic injustice or undemocratic justice in the name of human rights and reconciliation  8. Silencing the guns through DDR and SSR: the securitization of peace or governance of insecure democracy  9. From war to peace: voters but not yet citizens  PART III Conclusion and Recommendations  10. From hybrid democratic peace towards an integrated transition: conclusion, limitations and recommendations


    Izabela Pereira Watts, PhD, is a Lecturer in International Studies and Political Sciences at the University of Wollongong in Australia. She is an expert in peacekeeping, democracy building with more than 15 years of experience in international development, including UN peacekeeping mission, UNDP and UN Woman in conflict zones, and several awards.

    This book brings state-of-the-art in identifying and analyzing the complexities of building a democratic and functioning state after civil wars. Kosovo is an example of these challenges toward self-determination and recognition amid the intricacies of the international system. Dr Pereira Watts brings robust case analysis with a multidisciplinary perspective and up-to-date data that distinguishes it from the usual rhetoric on state-building. It is a must-read!

    Puhie Demaku,

    Former Member of Parliament of the Republic of Kosovo

    Foreign Affairs Committee

    It is a must-read for anyone interested in peacekeeping and civil wars. One of the biggest challenges confronting disrupted states is to move from interim stabilization toward sustainable democratic security promotion. With an insider perspective of UN peacekeeping and robust case analysis, the author contributes by creating awareness of the central dilemmas originating from the simultaneous efforts to build peace and democracy in civil wars. The book outstands in avoiding the pitfalls of vicious violence, including the complexities of DDR and SSR.

    Luís Carrilho,

    United Nations Police Adviser

    Department of Peace Operations

    Former UN Police Commissioner in

    UN missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina,

    Timor-Leste, Haiti, Central African Republic and Mali

    Beyond a shadow of a doubt, this book brings important insights into the complexities of nowadays intermestic issues. Importantly, it also shows evidence that paradiplomacy is the missing element long neglected by sole state powers when dealing with conflict resolution and peacebuilding. Dr Pereira Watts highly contributes to crucial debates that ultimately affect us all in a globalised world. 

    Jose Vicente Lessa,

    Former Ambassador of Brazil in Namibia and China 

    And Researcher and Advocate on Paradiplomacy 

    Dr. Izabela Pereira Watts' book delves deep into the complexities of achieving peace, justice, and democracy in post-conflict nations. As someone well-acquainted with these challenges, I find Pereira Watts' work thought-provoking and enlightening. She offers valuable insights for policymakers to develop more effective and integrated strategies.  

    Dr. Joseph Sebarenzi, 

    Author of 'God Sleeps in Rwanda: A Journey of Transformation' 

    Former President of the Rwandan Parliament 

    Genocide Survivor 

    When I wrote the book "From war to democracy, dilemmas for Peacebuilding (2008), I did not imagine that it would be pivotal to more research that would deepen the understanding on the dichotomy between stopping a civil war and building a democratic state. I have read the book and I am truly impressed by the scope and convincing arguments. Dr Pereira Watts demonstrates good insights with regard to several cases.  This updated analytical and thought-provoking book advances the need to address this growing challenge of our times: civil becoming internationalized wars. Moreover, I really like the figures as they help to convey clarity to the complexities between theory and practice.

    Professor Anna Jarstad, 

    Uppsala University

    Editor of "From war to democracy, dilemmas for Peacebuilding (2008)"