The Search for an International Legal Concept of Democracy: Lessons from the Post-Conflict Reconstruction of Sierra Leone
34 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2011
Date Written: November 15, 2011
This article explores the treatment of democracy in the formulation of UN resolutions, peace agreements, and external aid agreements related to the post-conflict reconstruction of Sierra Leone. In so doing, it seeks to contribute towards a fuller understanding of the relevance of the practice of post-conflict reconstruction for the debate on democracy in international law. The analysis takes account of not only whether democracy was treated as an international legal concept, but also the relationship between the approach taken to the definition of democracy and the effectiveness of the reconstruction process. A central argument is that internationally facilitated post-conflict reconstruction can appear to be conducive to the articulation, by states, of democracy in international legal terms. However, it is also contended that the willingness of states to take this step can be seen as dependent on the existence of an appropriate forum. On this basis, it is concluded that the significance, from an international legal perspective, of the reluctance of states to take various opportunities to raise democracy in international legal terms during the reconstruction of Sierra Leone should not be overstated.
Keywords: Democracy, Law, Sierra Leone, Post-Conflict, UN, Peace Agreement, Aid Agreement
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