Cover

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Title Paqe, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

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1. Designing Constitutions to Reduce Domestic Conflict

Alan J. Kuperman

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pp. 1-24

Can deadly internal conflict be prevented, or at least significantly reduced, by changing a country’s domestic political institutions? This might seem an obvious and important question, especially for Africa, which recently has suffered the most such violence—in Rwanda, Congo, Darfur, and elsewhere. Yet, this continental puzzle has never before been addressed in a rigorous, comparative...

Accommodation Is Risky

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2. Burundi: Institutionalizing Ethnicity to Bridge the Ethnic Divide

Filip Reyntjens

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pp. 27-50

This chapter examines how changes in Burundi’s constitutional design have helped buffer the shock of democratic elections, thereby contributing to a sharp reduction in ethnic violence. Inter-group conflict was the most important and lethal hallmark of Burundian politics starting at in dependence in 1962, and claimed hundreds of thousands of lives as recently as the...

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3. Kenya: Gradual Pluralization Fails to Buffer Shocks

Gilbert M. Khadiagala

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pp. 51-70

This chapter probes how Kenya’s constitutional design has mediated shocks to the political system since the late 1980s. Shocks are major events that can affect the relative power of societal groups, produce new elites, and redefine state-society relationships. Four major shocks, and their consequences, are examined. (1) In the early 1990s, domestic protests combined with international...

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4. Nigeria: Devolution to Mitigate Conflict in the Niger Delta

Eghosa E. Osaghae

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pp. 71-95

This chapter examines how shocks in Nigeria related to its oil industry have been inadequately mediated by constitutional design, leading to persistent violence in the country’s Niger Delta region. The period under examination is from 1960, when Nigeria became independent, until 2010, when violent conflict peaked in the Niger Delta despite the government’s granting amnesty...

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5. Sudan: “Successful” Constitutional Reform Spurs Localized Violence

Karly Kupferberg, Stefan Wolff

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pp. 96-114

Constitutional design—a country’s major political institutions—can play an important role in both preventing violent escalation and restoring peace after a period of violent confrontation.1 At the same time, such institutions can have the opposite effect: rather than mitigating violence, they can create new grievances or exacerbate preexisting ones. But this dual effect does not occur...

Integration Can Work

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6. Ghana: The Complements of Successful Centralization: Checks, Balances, and Informal Accommodation

Justin Orlando Frosini

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pp. 117-134

Ghana has been referred to as “the shining star of democracy on the African continent,” due to its past two decades of elections that have been judged “free and fair,” including those in 2000 and 2008 that produced peaceful alternation of power between political parties.1 Indeed, Ghana’s electoral results have not been questioned since 1992, when opposition parties rejected the reelection...

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7. Senegal: The Limits of Hyper-Centralization

I. William Zartman, Hillary Thomas-Lake, Arame Tall

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pp. 135-157

This chapter explores how, if at all, constitutional design affected the handling and thus the outcome of specific “shocks” in Senegal.1 Two types of shocks are considered here: a rebellion that sought secession in the southern part of the country, and widespread flooding in the capital area. The first was endogenous, coming from within the political system, when longstanding demands...

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8. Zimbabwe: The Unintended Consequences of Authoritarian Institutions

Andrew Reynolds

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pp. 158-180

This chapter focuses on two dimensions of the evolution of the Zimbabwean state: constitutional design and the effect such political institutions have had on inter-ethnic relations. At times the institutional set-up of the state has lessened the polarization among communal groups, while at other moments constitutional changes have, by design, exacerbated social divisions. This analysis...

Applying the Lessons

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9. Africa’s Domestic Institutions of Integration and Accommodation: A New Database

Eli Poupko

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pp. 183-225

In contemporary conflict management scholarship, it has become generally accepted that institutions matter.1 This principle implies that constitutional design—broadly defined as the overall institutional structure framing the political order—has significant effects on the extent and specific manifestations of social conflict. These effects of constitutional design are particularly relevant...

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10. Rethinking Constitutional Reform for Democracy and Stability

Alan J. Kuperman

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pp. 226-236

This book’s findings call into question the conventional wisdom that espouses radical reform of the constitutional design of African countries that typically have “integrative” political institutions—including a unitary government, strong president, and majoritarian/plurality elections. Experts overwhelmingly advocate the opposing constitutional design of “accommodative” institutions—including...

Notes

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pp. 237-272

Contributors

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pp. 273-274

Index

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pp. 275-292

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 293-294

This volume culminates a five-year research project spanning three continents, so I can individually acknowledge only a fraction of those who helped along the way. For initial encouragement, I thank James Lindsay, founding director of the Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law, who persuaded me to draft the grant proposal that enabled this project. The...