Unpacking the concepts of stability, democracy and rights


  • Inger Lassen Aalborg University
  • Florence Ngesa Indede Maseno University
  • Charles Okumu Gulu University




This article prepares the ground for contributions included in the special issue by unpacking the concepts of stability, democracy and rights, which are included in the overall theme.  It is concerned with how these concepts have been defined in the literature and how they relate to issues of potential threat to stability in fragile post-conflict communities. The purpose of the article is to add more insight into how war and conflict may disrupt the everyday practices of communities, and what possibilities or constraints citizens may be facing when dealing with the challenges in the aftermath of war and conflict. In the article we open up to a discussion of democratic lapses and how this may jeopardize legitimation of the state, focusing in particular on the specific situations of Kenya, Uganda and Nepal. We argue that to guarantee stability and rights, there is a need for developing new forms of democracy that find a balance between state autocracy and citizen involvement through good governance. We further argue that citizens have collective agency and are capable of developing new strategies for survival. The article is organized as a literature study of key concepts.