Democratic Transitions in International Law

This project investigates transitions to democracy and develops models and lessons that can be applied in support of transitional processes. The project is principally focused on the experiences of the Arab Spring. However, it also takes account of previous experiences gained in the context of the transformation of Eastern Europe at the end of the Cold War, the transitions in South Africa, Cambodia, Central and Latin America, and a number of other, more recent cases from other regions.

The project seeks to fulfil the following objectives:

  • Provide a comprehensive collection of internationalized transition agreements covering the Arab Spring and a range of other, post-Cold War instances of negotiated transition;
  • Generate an analytical digest of practice, offering a range of settlement options on the principal issues that are likely to arise in international negotiations about transitions, based on previous experiences detailed in the existing transition agreements;
  • Offer assessments of which options have in the past been successful or unsuccessful in relation to which particular circumstances to help inform and guide on-going mediations;
  • Generate a handbook on transition negotiations, synthesizing the key approaches and lessons in relation to a number of key issues, including major transition step, sequencing of these steps, implantation support, etc.

The project is led by Professor Marc Weller, the Director of the Centre, and by Dr Tiina Pajuste.

This project has been supported and funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom.