Democratic Transition, Transformation and Development in times of War and Peace: Conceptualisations and Observations

Publication date: 17 Feb 2017 Organization: Leiden University

Many post-colonial, post-communist and/or (other) post-separatist societies in the world today are in a perilous state, even if they do not face war or other forms of armed conflict and (political) violence or have not suffered such ills in recent years or decades. Too many of these societies within or across countries with recognized borders are still or at best in a fragile, even doubtful stage of formal transition—let alone true transformation—toward post-conflict, post-separatist (whether the separatist project is successful or not) societies with even minimal levels of democracy, pluralism and socio-economic wealth and wellbeing i.e. development.

This troubling state of affairs is of the highest importance to the multidisciplinary field of ethnogeopolitics, if only because most if not all of these societies are conflict-ridden, tense, poverty-stricken, corrupt or otherwise underdeveloped because of historically grown and recently aggravated animosities between ethnic groups. This paper generally holds this to be true, even though the author has cautioned elsewhere that “one should not presume that all internal conflicts, or even all conflicts per se, are ethnic in character depending on one’s definition of ethnicity” (Ten Dam 2015c: 14).


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