"Transitional regimes - also called interim governments - bridge old and new orders of rule. Interim governance signifies a hinge of history, a central point upon which depends future national, or even international, stability. These interim structures, so historically significant, are nonetheless fleeting and indeterminate. And despite the obvious domestic character and significance of governance transitions, the assembly and maintenance of interim structures is now commonly an international project. The United Nations and many of its constituents have taken on significant roles in state-building, the creation and sustenance of government institutions, in troubled states. Still, too little is known about the factors that make for success and failures in transition, in particular with respect to the commonly stated goals of peace and democracy. Our project aims to identify the rationale, form and effects of interim regimes. We define an interim regime as an organization that rules a polity during the period between the fall of the 'ancien regime' and the initiation of the next regime. Our focus is upon governance in the transition between the end of one order - whether by internal collapse or externally imposed regime change - and the start of a new, supposedly 'permanent' order. The transitional period concludes, we argue, when a new government wields effective internal sovereignty. We are particularly interested in the choices of interim administrative structures, for example, whether these are comprised of domestic or international components, or whether they represent elite pacts or popular will."
Naval Postgraduate School, Center for Contemporary Conflict: http://www.ccc.nps.navy.mil
Strategic Insights (January 2006), v.5 no.1