In this article I investigate whether 'political engineering' can work to address problems of party system instability in new democracies. I look at the ambitious recent attempts to engineer the development of stable party politics in Papua New Guinea, one of the few post-colonial states to have maintained an unbroken record of democratic government. Despite its enviable status in this regard, in recent years Papua New Guinea has been plagued by increasing political instability caused, in part, by the fragmentation of its party system. The article analyses Papua New Guinea's new political institutions, introduced in 2001, which are designed to encourage the development of a more coherent party system, stabilize the formation of executive government, and fundamentally change the conduct of the electoral process.
|Published - 2002