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Benjamin Reilly, "Political Engineering and Party Politics in Papua New Guinea," Party Politics, 8 (November, 2002), 701-718.

First Paragraph:
In recent years, the possibility of 'political engineering' -- crafting the institutional 'rules of the game' to achieve certain objectives -- has become an increasingly attractive option for influencing the development of political system in new and established democracies alike (Diamond, 1999; Sartori, 1994; Weaver and Rockman, 1993). Political engineering is not a new idea: indeed, the possibility of influencing the development of a political system via institutional design has ancient antecedents in political science. However, it was perhaps given contemporary prominence by Sartori (1968), who argued that political development, particularly in new democracies, could be aided by the adoption of institutions that constrain the centrifugal tendencies which affect many newly created nations.

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Last Paragraph:
Overall, only time will tell if institutional reform will work for Papua New Guinea. While there is a strong sense among observers and advisers that 'something needs be done' to address the problems discussed in this article, there is also scepticism that Papua New Guinea's 'entrenched political culture of localised and personalised electioneering and fluid party allegiances can be changed from above -- in effect, by constitutional fiat' (Standish, 2001: 295). However, while it may be too early to evaluate the success of the reforms, they do represent an innovative institutional response to an issue that has plagued many new democracies: the problem of political instability created by a weak and fragmented party system leading to regular parliamentary upheavals and changes in executive government. If Papua New Guinea's political engineering does succeed in promoting more meaningful parties, more stable parliaments and more representative politicians -- and it is a big if -- it will represent a major breakthrough in the ongoing quest to build a sustainable political system that can support economic growth in that country. The result may be of relevance not just to Papua New Guinea, but to other countries struggling to institutionalize a stable party system and consolidate democracy.