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Peacebuilding is an interactive process that involves collaboration between peacebuilders and the victorious elites of a postwar society. While one of the most prominent assumptions of the peacebuilding literature asserts that the interests of domestic elites and peacebuilders coincide, this book contends that they rarely align. Costly Democracy makes the case that the preferences of domestic elites are greatly shaped by the costs they incur in adopting democracy, as well as the leverage that peacebuilders wield to increase the costs of non-adoption. As cases from Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, Timor, Rwanda, Namibia, Mozambique, and Tajikistan show, domestic elites in postwar societies may desire the resources—both material and symbolic—that peacebuilders can bring, but they are less eager to adopt democracy because they believe democratic reforms may endanger some or all of their substantive interests. Costly Democracy offers comparative analyses of recent cases of peacebuilding to deepen understanding of postwar democratization and better explain why peacebuilding missions often bring peace, but seldom democracy, to war-torn countries.
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