Matthias Basedau

Managing Ethnic Conflict: The Menu of Institutional Engineering

GIGA Working Paper, No. 171, June 2011

Abstract
The debate on institutional engineering offers options to manage ethnic and other conflicts. This contribution systematically assesses the logic of these institutional designs and the empirical evidence on their functioning. Generally, institutions can work on ethnic conflict by either accommodating ("consociationalists") or denying ("integrationists") ethnicity in politics. Looking at individual and combined institutions (e.g. state structure, electoral system, forms of government), the literature review finds that most designs are theoretically ambivalent and that empirical evidence on their effectiveness is mostly inconclusive. The following questions remain open: a) Is politicized ethnicity really a conflict risk? b) What impact does the whole "menu" (not just single institutions) have? and c) How are effects conditioned by the exact nature of conflict risks?

GIGA-Forschung zum Thema

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GIGA AutorInnen

Prof. Dr. Matthias Basedau

Direktor des GIGA Instituts für Afrika-Studien
Redaktion GIGA Focus Afrika

Prof. Dr. Matthias Basedau ist Direktor des GIGA Instituts für Afrika-Studien und Professor für Politikwissenschaft an der Universität Hamburg. Seine Forschungsschwerpunkte sind politische Institutionen und bewaffnete Konflikte, beides im besonderen Zusammenhang mit Ethnizität, natürlichen Ressourcen und Religion. Er ist zudem Regionalkoordinator für West- und Zentralafrika beim Bertelsmann Transformation Index.

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