Coordinator: Helga Malmin Binningsbø

​​​​The Governance research group looks at the interplay between aspects of governance and peace at the domestic and the international level. Governance is defined very broadly to include the formal institutions that regulate recruitment to and execution of political power as well as less formal structures and processes, including how decisions are implemented, human rights protection or violation, and informal power structures.

​Research questions addressed by the group include:

  • What kind of political institutions are particularly likely to engender political violence, human rights violations and violations of countries' own constitutional regulations?
  • How do various political institutions influence the durability of peace after civil war?
  • Do different political institutions foster different types of collective violence?
  • How is the prevalence of violence affected by the effectiveness of law enforcement and societal means of controlling violence, and how does violence in turn change the practices and effectiveness of law enforcement?
  • When are conflict-related justice processes, such as trials, truth commissions, reparations, amnesties, purges, and exiles implemented, and what are their effects?
  • Is there a difference between justice processes implemented during and after armed conflict?
  • Why do governments choose different justice processes at different points during conflict trajectories and after war?
  • What is the relative importance of institutions of constraint, institutions of election/selection, and other aspects of governance to ensure non-violent politics?
  • What are the long-term effects on political violence of changes to political institutions?
  • How are the effects of political institutions on political violence mediated through stimulation of economic growth, reduction of intergroup inequality, property rights protection, and struggles over the setup of political institutions themselves?
  • How do global institutions of governance (e.g., the UN) affect political violence within and betwen countries?
  • What are the likely future trajectories of governance and political violence?

The research group will also be engaged in collecting data on governance- and human rights-related issues, such as indicators capturing aspects of political institutions and data on electoral violence and electoral fraud.


Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Buhaug, Halvard; Lars-Erik Cederman & Kristian Skrede Gleditsch (2016) Ulikhet, eksklusjon og borgerkrig [Inequality, Exclusion, and Civil War], Politica 48(1): 12–29.
White, Peter B.; Dragana Vidovic; Belén González; Kristian Skrede Gleditsch & David Cunningham (2015) Nonviolence as a Weapon of the Resourceful: From Claims to Tactics in Mobilization, Mobilization 20(4): 471–491.
Beardsley, Kyle; Kristian Skrede Gleditsch & Nigel Lo (2015) Roving and Stationary Bandits in African Civil Wars, International Studies Quarterly 59(3): 503–516.
Beardsley, Kyle & Kristian Skrede Gleditsch (2015) Peacekeeping as Conflict Containment, International Studies Review 17(1): 67–89.
Asal, Victor; Ken Cousins & Kristian Skrede Gleditsch (2015) Making Ends Meet: Combining Organizational Data in Contentious Politics, Journal of Peace Research 52(1): 134–138.
Nygård, Håvard Mokleiv (2015) The role of international organizations in regime transitions: How IGOs can tie a dictator’s hands, Conflict Management and Peace Science. DOI: 10.1177/0738894215599554.
Knutsen, Carl Henrik & Håvard Mokleiv Nygård (2015) Institutional Characteristics and Regime Survival: Why Are Semi-Democracies Less Durable Than Autocracies and Democracies?, American Journal of Political Science 59(3): 656–670.
Hegre, Håvard & Håvard Mokleiv Nygård (2015) Governance and Conflict Relapse, Journal of Conflict Resolution 59(6): 984–1016.
Nygård, Håvard Mokleiv & Michael Weintraub (2015) Bargaining Between Rebel Groups and the Outside Option of Violence, Terrorism and Political Violence 27(3): 557–580.
Holtermann, Helge (2014) Relative Capacity and the Spread of Rebellion: Insights from Nepal, Journal of Conflict Resolution. DOI: 10.1177/0022002714540470.
Hansen, Susanne & Nicholas Marsh (2014) Normative power and organized hypocrisy: European Union member states’ arms export to Libya, European Security. DOI: 10.1080/09662839.2014.967763.
Knutsen, Carl Henrik (2014) Income Growth and Revolutions, Social Science Quarterly 95(4): 920–937.
Basedau, Matthias (2014) Bad Religion? Religion, Collective Action, and the Onset of Armed Conflict in Developing Countries, Journal of Conflict Resolution. DOI: 10.1177/00220027145418531–30.
Buhaug, Halvard; Lars-Erik Cederman & Kristian Skrede Gleditsch (2014) Square Pegs in Round Holes: Inequalities, Grievances, and Civil War, International Studies Quarterly 58(2): 418–431.
Binningsbø, Helga Malmin (2013) Power sharing, peace and democracy: Any obvious relationships?, International Area Studies Review 16(1): 89–112.
Cunningham, Kathleen Gallagher (2013) Actor Fragmentation and Civil War Bargaining: How Internal Divisions Generate Civil Conflict, American Journal of Political Science 57(3): 659–672.
Hegre, Håvard; Håvard Mokleiv Nygård; Håvard Strand; Henrik Urdal; & Joakim Karlsen (2013) Predicting Armed Conflict, 2010-2050, International Studies Quarterly 55(2): 1–21.
Binningsbø, Helga Malmin; & Rustad, Siri Aas (2012) Sharing the wealth: A pathway to peace or a trail to nowhere? , Conflict Management and Peace Science 29(5): 547–566.
Binningsbø, Helga Malmin; Cyanne Loyle; Scott Gates; & Jon Elster (2012) Armed conflict and Post-conflict Justice, 1946–2006: A Dataset, Journal of Peace Research 49(5): 731–740.
Dahl, Marianne; & Bjørn Høyland (2012) Peace on Quicksand? Challenging the Conventional Wisdom About Economic Growth and Post-Conflict Risks, Journal of Peace Research 49(3): 423–429.
Gates, Scott; Håvard Hegre; Håvard Mokleiv Nygård & Håvard Strand (2012) Development Consequences of Armed Conflict, World Development 40(9): 1713–1722.
Holtermann, Helge (2012) Explaining the Development–Civil War Relationship, Conflict Management and Peace Science 29(1): 56–78.
Hegre, Håvard;Nygård, Håvard Mokleiv; & Hultman, Lisa (2011) Simulating the Effect of Peacekeeping Operations, 2010-2035 , Lecture Notes In Computer Science 6589325–332.
Hegre, Håvard; John R. Oneal; & Bruce M. Russett (2010) Trade Does Promote Peace: New Simultaneous Estimates of the Reciprocal Effects of Trade and Conflict, Journal of Peace Research 47(6): 763–774.
Binningsbø, Helga Malmin & Kendra Dupuy (2009) Using Power-Sharing to Win a War: The Implementation of the Lomé Agreement in Sierra Leone, Africa Spectrum 44(3): 87–107.
Østby, Gudrun; Clionadh Raleigh; & Håvard Hegre (2009) Poverty and Civil War Events: A Disaggregated Study of Liberia, Journal of Conflict Resolution 53(4): 298–623.
Hegre, Håvard (2009) Trade Dependence or Size Dependence?: The Gravity Model of Trade and the Liberal Peace , Conflict Management and Peace Science 26(1): 26–45.
Hegre, Håvard (2008) Gravitating toward War. Preponderance May Pacify, but Power Kills, Journal of Conflict Resolution 52(4): 566–589.
Marsh, Nicholas (2007) Taming the Tools of Violence, Journal of Public Health Policy 28: 401–409.
Sambanis, Nicholas; & Hegre, Håvard (2006) Sensitivity Analysis of the Empirical Literature on Civil War Onset , Journal of Conflict Resolution 50(4): 508–535.


Gates, Scott & Kaushik Roy (2014) Unconventional Warfare in South Asia, Shadow Warriors and Counterinsurgency. Farnham: Ashgate.
Cunningham, Kathleen Gallagher (2014) Inside the Politics of Self-Determination. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Demetriou, Olga (2013) Capricious Borders: Minority, Population, and Counter-Conduct Between Greece and Turkey. Oxford: Berghahn.

Book Chapter

Hegre, Håvard & Idunn Kristiansen (2016) Global, State, and Individual Security in Quantitative Conflict Research, in Schlag, Gabi; Julian Junk; & Christopher Daase, eds, Transformations of Security Studies: Dialogues, Diversity and Discipline. New York: Routledge (190–215).
Gates, Scott; Kaushik Roy; Marianne Dahl & Håvard Mokleiv Nygård (2015) Continuity and Change in Asymmetric Warfare in Afghanistan: From the Mughals to the Americans, in Gates, Scott; & Kaushik Roy, eds, War and State-Building In Afghanistan: Historical and Modern Perspectives. London: Bloomsbury (21–42).
Gates, Scott & Kaushik Roy (2015) lntroduction: Armies, Warfare and the State in Afghanistan from Pre-modern Times to the Present Era, in Gates, Scott; & Kaushik Roy, eds, War and State-Building In Afghanistan: Historical and Modern Perspectives. London: Bloomsbury (1–20).
Roy, Kaushik (2015) Great Mughals, Warfare and COIN in Afghanistan, 1520-1707, in Gates, Scott; & Kaushik Roy, eds, War and State-Building In Afghanistan: Historical and Modern Perspectives. London: Bloomsbury (43–78).
Checkel, Jeffrey T. (2014) Identity, Europe, and the world beyond public spheres, in European Public Spheres: Politics Is Back. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (227–246).
Checkel, Jeffrey T. (2014) Mechanisms, process, and the study of international institutions, in Bennett, Andrew; & Jeffrey T. Checkel, eds, Process Tracing: from Metaphor to Analytic Tool. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (74–97).
Roy, Kaushik (2013) From the Mamluks to the Mansabdars: A Social History of Military Service in South Asia, c. 1500 to c. 1650, in Fighting For a Living: a Comparative History of Military Labour 1500-2000. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press (81–114).
Hegre, Håvard & Helge Holtermann (2013) Poverty and Conflict, in Brown, Graham K.; & Arnim Langer, eds, Elgar Handbook of Civil War and Fragile States. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing (39–58).
Harpviken, Kristian Berg (2012) Warlordism: Three Biographies From Southeastern Afghanistan, in Suhrke, Astri; & Mats Berdal, eds, The Peace In Between: Post-War Violence and Peacebuilding. London: Routledge (173–191).
de Soysa, Indra(2012) The Capitalist Civil Peace: Some Theory and Empirical Evidence High-Value Natural Resources and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding. : Earthscan(437–459).
Kreutz, Joakim ; Manuela Torre & Nicholas Marsh (2011) Regaining State Control: Arms and Violence in Post-conflict Countries, in Greene , Owen ; & Nicholas Marsh, eds, Small Arms, Crime and Conflict Global Governance and the Threat of Armed Violence. London: Routledge (64–76).
Marsh, Nicholas & Owen Greene (2011) Governance and Small Arms and Light Weapons, in Nicholas Marsh, ed., Small Arms, Crime and Conflict Global Governance and the Threat of Armed Violence. London: Routledge (163–182).
Borchgrevink, Kaja & Kristian Berg Harpviken (2010) Afghanistan: Civil Society Between Modernity and Tradition, in Civil Society and Peacebuilding: a Critical Assessment. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner (235–257).
Gleditsch, Nils Petter; Håvard Hegre; & Håvard Strand (2009) Democracy and Civil War, in Handbook of War Studies III. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press (155–192).
Hegre, Håvard; & Fjelde, Hanne(2009) Post-Conflict Democracy and Conflict Recurrence Peace and Conflict 2010. : Paradigm Publishers(79–90).
Marsh, Nicholas (2006) The Nordic Countries and Conventional Arms Control: The Case of Small Arms and Light Weapons, in The Nordic Countries and the European Security and Defence Policy. Oxford: SIPRI .

Edited Volume

Gates, Scott; & Kaushik Roy, eds, (2015) War and State-Building in Afghanistan: Historical and Modern Perspectives. London: Bloomsbury. Bloomsbury Studies in Military History.

Conference Paper

Binningsbø, Helga Malmin & Cyanne Loyle (2014) Justice during armed conflict from 1949 through 2011: A new dataset, presented at International Studies Association Annual Meeting, Toronto, Canada, 26–29 March 2014.
Hegre, Håvard;Knutsen, Carl Henrik; & Rød , Espen Geelmuyden 2012The Determinants of Democracy: A Sensitivity Analysis , presented at American Political Science Association Annual Convention.
Hegre, Håvard;Nygård, Håvard Mokleiv;Strand, Håvard; & Gates, Scott 2012The Conflict Trap , presented at American Political Science Association Annual Meeting.
Hegre, Håvard; & Nygård, Håvard Mokleiv 2012 Governance and Conflict Relapse, presented at International Studies Association Annual Convention, San Diego 1-4 April 2012, , .
Hegre, Håvard 2012Why Waves? Global Patterns of Democratization, 1816-2008 , presented at 3rd International Conference on Democracy as Idea and Practice, Oslo, 12-13 January 2012.
Binningsbø, Helga Malmin; & Loyle, Cyanne 2011 Offers of Justice and Peace: Bargaining and Justice Processes during Conflict, presented at The Potential Role of Transitional Justice in Ongoing Conflicts, , 14 November.
Hegre, Håvard;Hultman, Lisa ; & Nygård, Håvard Mokleiv 2010 Evaluating the Conflict Reducing Effects of UN Peace-Keeping Operations, presented at American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, , 1–5 September.

PRIO Paper

Marsh, Nicholas & Gugu Dube (2014) Preventing Diversion: The Importance of Stockpile Management, PRIO Paper. Oslo: PRIO.
Corney, Neil & Nicholas Marsh (2013) Aiming for Control: The need to include ammunition in the Arms Trade Treaty, PRIO Paper. Oslo: PRIO.

Report - Other

Karim, Atina; & Nicholas Marsh (2015) State positions and practices concerning reporting and the Arms Trade TreatyNew York: ATT Monitor.

Report - External Series

Nygård, Håvard Mokleiv; & Håvard Hegre (2015) Protracted Conflict and Development in the Arab Region , E/ESCWA/ECRI/2015/2 UNESCWA Trends and Impacts Issue No. 4 , 4. New York: United Nations.
Strand, Håvard;Hegre, Håvard;Gates, Scott; & Dahl, Marianne (2012) Why Waves? Global Patterns of Democratization , Working paper .
Hegre, Håvard; & Nygård, Håvard Mokleiv (2011) The Governance Deficit and Conflict Relapse in the ESCWA Region: An Overview, UN Doc E/ESCWA/ECRI/2011/1, 25 August, : UN ESCWA.
Hegre, Håvard; & Nygård, Håvard Mokleiv (2011) The Governance-Conflict Trap in the ESCWA Region, Background paper for UN study The Governance Deficit and Conflict Relapse in the ESCWA Region, : .
Gates, Scott;Hegre, Håvard;Nygård, Håvard Mokleiv; & Strand, Håvard (2010) Consequences of Civil War , Background paper for World Development Report 2011 .
Hegre, Håvard (2008) The Nature and Causes of Violent Conflicts in Africa, Background paper for African Development Report 2008, : .
Gleditsch, Nils Petter; Lene Siljeholm Christiansen; & Håvard Hegre (2007) Democratic Jihad? Military Intervention and Democracy, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper, 4242. .
Harpviken, Kristian Berg; & Kjellman, Kjell Erling (2004) Beyond Blueprints: Civil Society and Peacebuilding, Concept Paper commissioned by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), : .

Blog Posts

India’s Membership of the Missile Technology Control Regime

Posted by Rajiv Nayan & Åshild Kolås on Thursday, 18 August 2016

India became the 35th member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) on 27 June 2016. The MTCR is an informal and voluntary association of suppliers of ballistic and cruise missiles capable of delivering Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), and other unmanned aerial vehicles. It was established in 1987 with merely seven countries. Though the MTCR does not force any of its members to take ‘legally binding obligations’, in reality, members normally incorporate decisions taken in the informal body. During the Cold War, as more countries joined the MTCR, there were frequent struggles among its members over harmonization. In 1992, ...

Blair’s Global Vision – and Lacking Knowledge Base

Posted by Kristian Berg Harpviken on Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Tony Blair took the decision to take part in the military intervention in Iraq in 2003 more or less on his own, and based it on very scant knowledge. Are there reasons to fear the same happening again? The British Chilcot Commission has released a crushing verdict over former PM Tony Blair’s decision to stand side by side with the US in Iraq in 2003. How was it possible for such an important decision to be taken without serious consideration of its long-term consequences? Prior to the presentation of the Commission’s report, John Chilcot expressed that its aim was to ...

The Right to Decide: Exit and Basque Self-Determination

Posted by Åshild Kolås on Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Five years ago, the Basque militant group ETA (Basque Homeland and Freedom) announced a unilateral and permanent cessation of operations. Since then, the disappearance of political violence has given rise to a new debate on Basque nationhood: more inclusive, more open, more civic, and at the same time stronger in its affirmation of the legitimacy of popular sovereignty and the democratic demand to exercise ‘the right to decide’, as against the earlier radicalism of immediate independence. A new book edited by Pedro Ibarra Güell and Åshild Kolås, Basque Nationhood Towards a Democratic Scenario, takes stock of the contemporary re-imagining of ...

Syria Travellers and Security Threats

Posted by Åshild Kolås & Katrine Fangen on Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Foreign fighters returning from Syria have emerged as a looming security threat in many European countries, so also in Norway. As well as preventive measures against radicalization and mobilization by the Islamic State, there have been calls for the withdrawal of citizenship and deportation of returned foreign fighters. This raises a number of questions. Are Norwegians more secure if we send potential terrorists out of the country? Is this even feasible, if Norway wants to stay within the ‘border-free’ Europe? What are the trade-offs between security and civil rights to citizenship, and how can they best be balanced? Is citizenship essentially something that needs to be earned, or is ...

The ‘Sovereign’ according to Ola Tunander

Posted by Åshild Kolås on Monday, 30 May 2016

On Friday 27 May 2016, PRIO celebrated Ola Tunander’s 30-year academic career with a seminar on ‘Sovereignty, Subs and PSYOPS’, and a reception. The celebration was, of course, focused on Ola and his work, spanning topics from the geopolitics and organic state theory of Rudolf Kjellén to the 27 October 1981 ‘Whiskey on the Rocks’ submarine crash in the Swedish Archipelago. Obviously, sovereignty was a key topic of the seminar, and is arguably also the critical theme of Ola’s work. As a digital footnote to the seminar, and a distillation of the ‘sovereign’ according to Ola Tunander, here are some ...

Is it Strange that Dictators Hold Elections?

Posted by Håvard Mokleiv Nygård on Monday, 14 December 2015

Why do dictators hold elections that merely play to the gallery? On 11 October, Alexander Lukashenko was re-elected as president of Belarus with an impressive 84 per cent share of the vote. The election was anything but free and fair. According to the OSCE, Belarusian law makes it impossible for the will of the people to be realized and, as if that were not enough, the election itself was characterized by fraud. Lukashenko’s regime had invested significant resources in preventing the election from being meaningful. So what was the point of holding it? Why do dictators hold elections that merely ...

Unarmed Protests Force Leaders from Power Twice as Often as Violent Uprisings

Posted by Kristian Skrede Gleditsch on Thursday, 29 October 2015

Research lends support to the Nobel Committee’s rationale for its award of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2015; the revolution in Tunisia shows how non-violent protest can assist in democratization. The award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet came as a surprise to most observers. But the committee’s rationale – which cites the so-called Jasmine Revolution and the role of civil society in the democratization of Tunisia, together with the potential for inspiring processes of democratization in other countries – is closely linked to the findings of research conducted in recent years into non-violent protests, democratization ...

Can an Economic Boom Ensure Peaceful Elections in Côte d’Ivoire?

Posted by Kathleen Klaus & Matthew I. Mitchell on Thursday, 22 October 2015

On Oct. 25, Ivorians head to the polls for their first presidential election since the disputed 2010 election that left more than 3,000 dead and more than 500,000 displaced. Despite the previous electoral violence and a decade of civil war and political turmoil from 2000-2010, most discussion before this election has been about the country’s remarkable economic resurgence. Once known as the “Paris of West Africa,” the commercial capital Abidjan and the country more generally are again benefiting from high cocoa prices and investor-friendly policies. The World Bank estimates a growth rate of approximately 8.7 percent over the last two ...

Pakistan’s Crippling Energy Crisis and Increasing Remittances

Posted by Marta Bivand Erdal & Zain Ul Abdin on Thursday, 1 October 2015

Deadly heat exposes Pakistan’s power problems. This summer CNBC run a report titled Deadly heat exposes Pakistan’s power problems after more than a thousand people died during heatwaves during the first days of Ramadan. Insufficient preparedness for the heatwave is largely seen as the cause of deaths, yet the context of the protracted electricity crisis in Pakistan is also widely connected with the scale of deaths and hospitalization during this summer’s heatwave. Pakistan’s energy crisis has worsened over the past few years, with increasing gaps between electricity supply and demand in the country. The crisis has been reported on in ...

Institutional Characteristics and Regime Survival: Why Are Semi-Democracies Less Durable than Autocracies and Democracies?

Posted by Håvard Mokleiv Nygård & Carl Henrik Knutsen on Monday, 10 August 2015

In Zaïre (currently DR Congo) in 1991, the country’s personalist ruler Mobutu Sese Seko faced popular unrest, army mutinies, and shrinking resources for patronage. Mobutu was seemingly starting to lose his grip on power, which he had held since the mid-1960s. In response, Mobutu ended the decades-long ban on political parties other than his own Popular Movement of the Revolution, promised free and fair elections, and entered into a coalition government. Yet, a couple of years later ‒ after the situation had “calmed down”, and after having shored up army support ‒ Mobutu reversed the liberalization measures. Almost 150 years ...

How Can States and Non-State Actors Respond to Authoritarian Resurgence?

Posted by Erica Chenoweth on Monday, 20 July 2015

Two weeks ago, the Monkey Cage ran a piece by Matthew Baum and Phil Potter suggesting that the policy of “democracy-promotion” has gone out of style.[1] I think they’re right that in many circles democracy-promotion is politically passé and that, more broadly, democracy advocates are really having a tough couple of years. In the midst of pushback against democracy agendas within democracies themselves, they are also dealing with the “comeback” of authoritarianism. [2] Setting aside the debate as to whether the recent resurgence is overstated, it does appear to be the case that while democratic countries are questioning the wisdom ...

Are Norwegian Oil Companies making Civil Wars More Likely?

Posted by Ragnhild Belbo on Tuesday, 20 January 2015

East Africa has become the latest hotspot for oil-and-gas discoveries, but the reserves are located in countries characterized by weak state institutions and social unrest. A number of African countries – several of them with significant Norwegian assistance – are on the threshold of becoming major producers of oil and gas. Does this mean that Norwegian companies are contributing to increase the risk of civil war in these countries? Weak state institutions and social unrest Two years ago, on 16 January 2013, an armed Islamist group attacked the Statoil- and BP-run gas plant at In Amenas in Algeria. For almost ...

Measurement of Regime Type Effects on Police Focus

Posted by Erica Chenoweth on Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Is there any measurable way to tell whether police become more or less focused on crime prevention and public safety in nations that are not fully democratic? Interesting question. I guess answering it would have to start with a good theory as to why police would change their priorities and behaviors in less democratic countries. Most existing work seems to refer to the fact that democracy provides a level of transparency, public oversight, and accountability over police practice, which make police more professional and responsive to the rule of law than they might be in non-democracies. However, I’m not aware ...

Democracy, Democratization, and Political Violence

Posted by Håvard Hegre on Friday, 16 May 2014

The process of democratization is often violent in the short run, and democratic governments are more constrained in their use of force against insurgents than non-democratic authorities. But are democracies really more prone to political violence than other political systems? This is the theme of a short article published at the International Relations and Security Network (ISN) at ETH Zürich. This summary article is based on recent quantitative studies of the relationship between democracy, democratization, and political violence. A longer review of this literature was recently published as an open-access article in Journal of Peace Research. In a newly published ...

Electing India's Future

Posted by Jason Miklian & Kristian Hoelscher on Monday, 12 May 2014

In April, 800 hundred million people began casting their ballots all across India in the largest election the world has ever seen. When we think of voting in India, we often picture a poor elderly villager showing a big ink-stained thumb and boasting a wide smile as proof of democracy in action. But elections in today’s India mean big money, big ideas and a growing focus on big urban centers as the drivers of development that will continue to catapult it from a 20th century agrarian laggard to a 21st century global power. ​India’s electorate is bigger than all of ...

Nepal Moves Towards Democracy

Posted by Helge Holtermann & Scott Gates on Saturday, 8 February 2014

Democracy is to a large extent about parties being willing to accept electoral defeat. In Nepal the Maoist Party, previously engaged in guerrilla warfare, has done precisely this. A wave of election boycotts is sweeping across Asia. In Thailand’s election on 2 February the “Democrats” succeeded in preventing voting in enough constituencies to delay the result. Bangladesh’s New Year election descended into pure farce following a boycott by most of the opposition. Last year’s election in Malaysia triggered massive protests, while in Cambodia the opposition is refusing to accept the results of the 2013 election. While this unrest has attracted ...

Why does Democratization Occur in Waves?

Posted by Håvard Hegre on Sunday, 12 January 2014

The ‘Arab Spring’ demonstrated that political transitions tend to occur together in space and time. Samuel Huntington coined the term ‘Waves of democratization’ in his book The Third Wave. The figure above shows that changes to the proportion of the world’s countries that are democracies occurs in spurts. Confirming Huntington’s three waves of democratization, spurts occurred from the  1890s up to 1920, from 1935 to 1945, and from 1975 up to today. There are also reverse waves — from 1920 to 1935 and from 1945 to about 1970. Huntington demonstrated the waves empirically, and provided a number of explanations for why they occur. He did not ...