Weak Legislature and Belligerency: An analysis of Côte d’Ivoire’s 2010-2011 Post-Presidential Election Crises

Che Afanwi

Abstract


Edward Mansfield and Jack Snyder’s research linking ‘democratization, institutional strength, and war’ prescribes the construction of strong central government institutions prior to mass elections as a strategy for reducing the risks of international belligerency associated with democratization. Though widely lauded as a prescriptive text for democracy-promoting foreign policies, Mansfield and Snyder’s institutional analysis of the democratization –war linkage skews institutional strength measures in favour of the executive, sidelining the other arms of government. Drawing on Côte d’Ivoire’s 2010 –2011 internationalized post-election crisis which was largely perpetuated by excessive executive powers and limited legislative leverage, this paper quantitatively evaluates the specific effect state legislatures bear on the democratization – war linkage. The evaluations yield affirmative evidence for the postulated influence of state legislatures. Thus, whilst heeding Mansfield and Snyder’s call for strengthening state institutions, foreign policies promoting liberal democracy should ensure the ultimate institutional configuration of power in aspirant democracies favours parliaments over executives for more auspicious outcomes.


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