Research linking democratization, institutional strength, and war prescribes the construction of strong central government institutions prior to mass elections as a prime mechanism for mitigating the danger of international belligerency associated with democratization. However, institutional analysis of the democratization – war linkage skews institutional strength measures in favour of the executive, overlooking the other arms of government. Drawing on Côte d’Ivoire’s 2010 – 2011 internationalized post-election civil conflict, which was largely engendered by excessive executive powers and limited legislative leverage, this paper quantitatively evaluates the effect state legislatures bear on the democratization – war linkage. The evaluations yield at least some evidence for the postulated influence of state legislatures. Thus, whilst heeding extant scholarly recommendations 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.

Author Bio(s)

Afa’anwi Ma’abo Che holds a Ph.D in Politics (with specialization in International Relations) from Swansea University, UK. Currently, he is a lecturer in International Relations and Peace Studies at Kampala International University, Uganda. He has previously served as a teaching fellow at Swansea University, UK and as a lecturer, Director of Research, and Dean of Student Affairs at Kwararafa University, Nigeria. He regularly contributes to coding data on several African states for the Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) Index, the world’s largest democracy measurement project.


democratization, institutional strength, parliament, conflict, Côte d’Ivoire

Publication Date






To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.