Emergency Law Responses and Conflict-Affected States in Transition

Sean Molloy, Christine Bell, Asanga Welikala, Erin Houlihan, Kimana Zulueta-Fülscher

Research output: Other contributionpeer-review

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This post looks at emergency law responses to the Covid-19 pandemic in conflict-affected states in transition. While some type of emergency response to Covid-19 has been used in most states, we suggest that conflict ‘fault lines’ can mean that emergency law responses have a capacity to undermine transitions. We suggest four key areas of concern:

1. How emergency law has impacted on efforts to build the rule of law as a mechanism of transition;
2. The impact on timing of elections and governmental succession;
3. The impact on relationships between the central state and divided groups in sub-state regions; and
4. The impact on militarisation of the state.

Whether or not these issues operate to trigger wider conflict fault lines is inherently linked to histories of conflict, and differ in terms of relevance from one setting to the next.

This piece identifies and illustrates the ways in which Covid-19 emergency responses can impact on these areas of concern, and suggests policy responses to ensure the continuation of the transition post-Covid-19. These are based on the deliberations at the Seventh Edinburgh Dialogue on Post-Conflict Constitution-Building, held in December 2020. The Edinburgh Dialogues are the result of a partnership between International IDEA, the University of Edinburgh’s Political Settlements Research Programme, and the Edinburgh Centre for Constitutional Law.
Original languageEnglish
Media of outputBlog
Number of pages13
Place of PublicationBerlin
Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2021


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