In the cumulative habilitation project Sonja Grimm investigates the instruments and strategies of international democracy promotion in post-conflict societies and fragile states, the effects of such external support and the reasons for the (mostly limited) effectiveness of international democracy promotion. Three research questions are investigated: How do external actors promote democracy in post-conflict societies and fragile states? How effective is international democracy promotion in post-conflict societies and fragile states? What does influence the effectiveness of international democracy promotion in post-conflict societies and fragile states?
To understand successes and failures in post-conflict democratization, the standard literature is right to argue that both external and domestic structures and actors need to be taken into account. However, this is not sufficient to explain the limited effectiveness of international democracy promotion in post-conflict democratization. In Sonja Grimm’s view, the interplay of external and domestic actors in political power struggles during regime transition corresponding to international democracy promotion and post-conflict democratization also needs to be taken into account. Why domestic actors adapt or not towards democratic rules and norms can be explained through the dynamics of the external-domestic interplay, conflicts of preferences between and among external and domestic actors and domestic constraints such as the existence of domestic third parties that limit the room to manoeuvre of relevant domestic political actors.
All eight articles of the cumulative habilitation have been published in high-ranking international journals such as Democratization, European Union Politics, the Journal of Common Market Studies, Conflict Management and Peace Science, and Third World Quarterly.
Sonja is Senior Lecturer at the Deparment of Politics and Public Administration, University of Konstanz, Germany. Currently, she is a Professor as interim for Political Science at the Department of Political Science, University of Basel, Switzerland.