Creating democratic institutions is an often recommended means to prevent and to terminate civil war. Under which conditions and in what forms are democratic institutions likely to be effective in reducing the incidence/recurrence of civil war? The most g eneral hypothesis is that the chances of observing both civil peace and democracy are linked to the extent to which the economy depends on input factors that can be controlled through the use of physical force. Another central idea is that stable democrac y is a self-enforcing equilibrium especially when power is maximally distributed–both in terms of institutions and in terms of potential control of the input factors. The project will develop theoretical models based on these ideas. These will be both gam e-theoretic and agent-based simulation models & case studies. The core empirical questions will be 1) what enables democratization; 2) what enables democracies to avoid civil war and to remain stable; and 3) what are the typical trajectories of democratiz ation. Data needed for the empirical analysis of the hypotheses will be collected, systematized and published on-line. Field studies in Kenya & South Africa will inform this data collection.
The project will be based at PRIO’s Centre for the Study of Civi l War (RCN project 146012/540), and interact closely with several CSCW working groups. CSCW and YFF resources will be combined to bring together a research team that supplements the qualifications of the P.I. with expertise in statistics, agent-based mode ling, and formal modeling. These part-time associates will reinforce the centre’s internal and external networks, in particular the recently created Nordic group on the Political Economy of Governance and Conflict and the EU 6th Framework funded consortiu m on Polarization and Conflict. Finally, the project will train a PhD student and several research assistants based at PRIO.