Peace or Democracy? : Peacebuilding Dilemmas to Transition from Civil Wars book cover
1st Edition

Peace or Democracy?
Peacebuilding Dilemmas to Transition from Civil Wars

  • Available for pre-order on March 13, 2023. Item will ship after April 3, 2023
ISBN 9781032247571
April 3, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
336 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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 role of the international community. Based on an analysis of more than 40 countries between 1989 and 2022 and more than 60 UN Peace Operations, she presents key 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.

Table of Contents

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

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Izabela Pereira Watts, PhD, is a Lecturer in International Studies and Political Sciences at the University of Wollongong and Global Development at the University of New South Wales in Australia. She is a former UN peacekeeper and accumulates more than 15 years of expertise in international development.


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