Date of Award


Degree Type

Closed Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Henry F. Carey, PHD - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Michael Herb, PHD

Third Advisor

Dr. Jennifer L. McCoy, PHD


This thesis seeks to examine why the Lavalas elite faction and its oppositions have failed to make and implement mutual agreements, to resolve regime crises and to create an environment conducive to democratic norms. The study derives explanations stemming from three alternative models: modernization, rational choice and misperception. Three periods of consensus-building attempt between the Lavalas elite and its oppositions (1991-1995: Consensus-Building attempt I; 1996-2000: Consensus-Building attempt II; 2000-2004: Consensus-Building attempt III) are considered. By using interpreted models a la Graham Allison, the thesis applies the criteria produced by each model to help interpret the failure of consensus-building in these three historical periods. The thesis' conclusion then assesses the models' strengths and weaknesses, prompting interesting questions for further research in the near future.