Publications

Each year International IDEA publishes a comprehensive range of new titles, including Handbooks, Country and Regional Reports, Overviews, Policy Papers, Discussion Papers and Policy Briefs.

Our publications are available in PDF format and can be downloaded from our website free of charge. You will need to have Acrobat Reader installed in order to read these files. Printed copies can also be ordered for a small fee.

In order to ensure increased access to our publications, we have introduced a Creative Commons (CC) licence for selected titles. The CC licence asserts International IDEA's copyright and indicates uses for which no permission needs to be secured, provided that the licence's conditions are followed.

Download a copy of our 2015 Publications Catalogue

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Feature Publication

Democratic Transitions: Conversations with World Leaders, a unique exploration of how countries become democracies, is an initiative of International IDEA.

The book presents personal reflections, both on ending authoritarian rule and on building democracy, by former presidents on five continents who have played key roles in such transformations over the past 30 years. The comments, offered in individual face-to-face interviews, together comprise the first volume in any language that focuses on learning lessons from political leaders about promoting and managing democratic transitions.

The book was co-edited by Sergio Bitar and Abraham F. Lowenthal and contains a preface by International IDEA's Secretary-General, Yves Leterme, in which he states, “What neither we nor others have thus far contributed is first-hand testimony from top political leaders about how transitions toward democracy have been achieved in different continents. This exciting publication fills that critical gap.”

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New releases

Assessing the Performance of the South African Constitution

Assessing the Performance of the South African Constitution

The idea that the performance of a constitution can be evaluated is a relatively recent one. With the growth and development of constitution making over the past three decades, an understanding of what constitutions seek to achieve and how they achieve has become increasingly important.

Are there better or worse ways of drafting constitutions for the purposes of achieving desired outcomes? How are we to understand the interaction between particular provisions or elements of a constitution and the concrete realities that unfold after the moment of constitution drafting?

This report—like the full-length study on which it is based—focuses on key tensions and stress points that have arisen in the past 20 years within the South African political community as a method of analysing some of the key goals of the Constitution and whether they have been met.

It draws on case law, reports by the government and non-governmental organizations, and other empirical data to assess the performance of the South African Constitution and offers a series of recommendations on potential changes to the Constitution that could help address its shortcomings.

Annual Results Report 2015

Annual Results Report 2015

The Annual Results Report 2015 provides an account of International IDEA’s partnerships and activities during 2015.

Democratic Accountability in Service Delivery: A practical guide to identify improvements through assessment (Spanish)

Democratic Accountability in Service Delivery:
A practical guide to identify improvements through assessment (Spanish)

This guide contains an assessment methodology to identify improvements in democratic accountability mechanisms.

Electoral Law Reform in Africa: Insights into the Role of EMBs and Approaches to Engagements (French)

Electoral Law Reform in Africa:
Insights into the Role of EMBs and Approaches to Engagements (French)

Explores EMB involvement electoral law reform in Africa and provides guidelines for EMB engagement.

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For information on International IDEA publications, please contact publications