This course provides an overview of key considerations with regard to specific sectors and institutions when working in transition environments, and help practitioners and policymakers determine effective strategies for achieving good governance after conflict.

A member of Joseph Duo's campaign team shows a woman where the candidate's name will appear on the ballot in District One of Grand Bassa County, Liberia, Sept. 28, 2017. Photo courtesy of Carielle Doe/The New York Times.
A member of Joseph Duo's campaign team shows a woman where the candidate's name will appear on the ballot in District One of Grand Bassa County, Liberia, Sept. 28, 2017. Photo courtesy of Carielle Doe/The New York Times.

Course Overview

For countries emerging from violent conflict, it is critical to strengthen accountable and transparent governance institutions to support enduring peace. The need to support effective and representative institutions; to strengthen rule of law and access to justice; to help build capacity toward an effective public administrative system; to support electoral processes; and to create a robust civil society ensuring participation of women and traditionally marginalized groups is fundamental for establishing the foundation of an open and stable society. How can this be achieved, however, in states that have experienced violent conflict? This course will address these fundamental concerns of democratic state practice. A successful strategy for developing effective and “good” governance involves employing a multidimensional and cross-cutting approach to reform. Further, we will distill lessons learned and examine areas around the world to provide the set of tools required to help develop strategies for rebuilding and strengthening governance institutions.

Agenda

Chapter 1 - Effective Public Administration

This chapter provides an overview of the international experience in supporting public administration after conflict. What is public administration and how can public administration be used as an accountability mechanism? Importantly, tools and strategies for public administration reform ware explored.

Chapter 2 - Rule of Law and Governance

What is the relationship between the rule of law, democracy, human rights and governance? How can legal and institutional reform be used to support and promote democratic practices and governance after conflict? This session explores key challenges and alternative approaches to rule of law promotion in transition environments.

Chapter 3 - The Role of Elections and Political Parties

In this chapter, we examine key challenges of timing, sequencing, and the purpose of elections after conflict. There are often trade-offs between inclusion and effective governance in electoral processes. Another key challenge involves the issue of former armed combatants and power-sharing arrangements. We also explore the role of political parties and political-party development after conflict.

Chapter 4 - Strengthening Democratic Opening in Divided Societies

In what ways can citizen participation be supported? This chapter examines this and other challenges to democracy building such as developing an independent media and addressing transitional justice initiatives. What are effective tools and approaches that civil society may employ in transition environments? What is the role of the international community in this context?

Chapter 5 - A Multidimensional Approach to Governance

This course explores key institutions necessary to supporting good governance. In analyzing these institutions and the key principles that support good governance, we may adopt a multidimensional approach to complex transition environments. In formulating a multidimensional approach, we explore the elements that comprise a well-governed society in terms of principles and outcomes, and ways in which disparate sectoral objectives share common mechanisms to help achieve those goals.

Course Instructor

  • Debra Liang-Fenton, Consultant and former Senior Program Officer, U.S. Institute of Peace

Related Publications

Un asalto al gobierno de Brasil enciende las alarmas en el hemisferio

Un asalto al gobierno de Brasil enciende las alarmas en el hemisferio

Thursday, January 12, 2023

By: Patrick Duddy;  John Feeley;  Keith Mines;  P. Michael McKinley;  Anya Prusa

El 8 de enero, cientos de manifestantes alimentados por la ira causada por los resultados de las elecciones presidenciales, invadieron los edificios federales en la capital de Brasil, Brasilia, mientras que decenas de miles se reunieron al frente de instalaciones militares en todo el país, pidiendo abiertamente un golpe de Estado.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

Seis formas de ayudar a mantener las negociaciones en Venezuela

Seis formas de ayudar a mantener las negociaciones en Venezuela

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

By: Mark Feierstein;  Keith Mines;  Nicolas Devia-Valbuena

A fines del año pasado, la Asamblea Nacional de Venezuela, controlada por la oposición, votó a favor de disolver el “gobierno interino” encabezado por Juan Guaidó, un proyecto de cuatro años diseñado para sustituir al gobernante del país, Nicolás Maduro. Este voto se produce en medio de un panorama regional cambiante, con gobiernos de izquierda recién elegidos en los vecinos Brasil y Colombia que apoyan una solución negociada al conflicto y un enfoque más moderado por parte de muchos de los aliados tradicionales en el exterior de la oposición. La clave para el progreso en el próximo año será mantener negociaciones consistentes, que siguen siendo el lugar más eficiente para tomar decisiones clave, como sobre el futuro de las elecciones y la relación entre el chavismo y la oposición. Hay varias formas clave de ayudar a nutrir y sostener estas conversaciones, así como parta hacerlas más efectivas en pro de lograr mejoras a corto plazo en la vida de los venezolanos.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & GovernanceMediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

Six Ways to Help Sustain Venezuela’s Negotiations

Six Ways to Help Sustain Venezuela’s Negotiations

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

By: Mark Feierstein;  Keith Mines;  Nicolas Devia-Valbuena

At the end of last year, Venezuela’s opposition-controlled National Assembly voted to disband the “interim government,” led by Juan Guaidó, a four-year project designed to displace the country’s ruler, Nicolas Maduro. This comes amid a shifting regional landscape, with newly elected leftist governments in neighboring Brazil and Colombia supporting a negotiated solution to the conflict, and a more nuanced approach from many of the opposition’s traditional international supporters. The key to progress in the year ahead will be maintaining consistent negotiations, which remain the most efficient venue for key decisions, such as on elections, and engagement. There are several key ways to help nurture and sustain these talks, and to make them more impactful in achieving short-term improvements in the lives of the Venezuelan people.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & GovernanceMediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

View All Publications