Special Issue in Government and Opposition

Available here

The Special Issue ‘Transforming state visions: Ideology and ideas in armed groups turned political parties’ in the journal of Government and Opposition draws upon the presentations and discussions held at the workshops in Cambridge in January and September 2017.

To date, there is a fairly extensive and growing literature that looks at how and why non-state armed movements transform into political parties. What is missing, however, is an understanding of what happens to former armed groups over time after the end of formal hostilities, either as ruling parties or as opposition parties. Do their underlying ideologies change when faced with a new context? Do they project different ideas about governance and statebuilding? Does the practice of governance influence the party and its ideas?

This collection of 11 papers and an introduction co-authored by the guest editors places the former armed group at the centre of analysis and offers a novel perspective to our understanding of post-conflict governance. The papers are organised into two thematic sections. The first section offers a combination of quantitative and comparative case studies concerned with how new parties adapt over time and how their ideational foundations change. The articles in the second section consist of single case studies, exploring the tensions and contradictions that exist within the former armed movement, and how these divisions affect governance practices.

Overall, the issue speaks to pressing concerns in the fields of democratization, international peacebuilding and development. It also provides new insights into core debates within comparative politics that concern political parties and party development, contentious politics as well as the how political cleavages are manifested and institutionalised following the end of armed conflict.

Guest editors: Devon E.A. Curtis and Gyda M. Sindre, Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), University of Cambridge


Section 1: Ideas and Governance Practices 

Section 2: Tensions and Contradictions in Party Visions

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