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Power Sharing in Deeply Divided Places

Edited by Joanne McEvoy and Brendan O'Leary

Publication Year: 2013

Power sharing may be broadly defined as any set of arrangements that prevents one political agency or collective from monopolizing power, whether temporarily or permanently. Ideally, such measures promote inclusiveness or at least the coexistence of divergent cultures within a state. In places deeply divided by national, ethnic, linguistic, or religious conflict, power sharing is the standard prescription for reconciling antagonistic groups, particularly where genocide, expulsion, or coerced assimilation threaten the lives and rights of minority peoples. In recent history, the success record of this measure is mixed.

Power Sharing in Deeply Divided Places features fifteen analytical studies of power-sharing systems, past and present, as well as critical evaluations of the role of electoral systems and courts in their implementation. Interdisciplinary and international in formation and execution, the chapters encompass divided cities such as Belfast, Jerusalem, Kirkuk, and Sarajevo and divided places such as Belgium, Israel/Palestine, Northern Ireland, and South Africa, as well as the Holy Roman Empire, the Saffavid Empire, Aceh in Indonesia, and the European Union.

Equally suitable for specialists, teachers, and students, Power Sharing in Deeply Divided Places considers the merits and defects of an array of variant systems and provides explanations of their emergence, maintenance, and failings; some essays offer lucid proposals targeted at particular places. While this volume does not presume that power sharing is a panacea for social reconciliation, it does suggest how it can help foster peace and democracy in conflict-torn countries.

Contributors: Liam Anderson, Florian Bieber, Scott A. Bollens, Benjamin Braude, Ed Cairns, Randall Collins, Kris Deschouwer, Bernard Grofman, Colin Irwin, Samuel Issacharoff, Allison McCulloch, Joanne McEvoy, Brendan O'Leary, Philippe van Parijs, Alfred Stepan, Ronald Wintrobe.

Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press

Series: National and Ethnic Conflict in the 21st Century


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pp. c-ii

Title Page

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pp. iii-iii

Copyright Page

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pp. iv-iv

Table of Contents

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pp. v-vi

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1. Power Sharing in Deeply Divided Places: An Advocate’s Introduction

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pp. 1-64

Th e Mafi a makes off ers that cannot be refused. In one peace pro cess a politician was once accused of making off ers that no one could understand ( O’Leary 1990). Do these statements explain the diff erence between power and power sharing? Is power coercive capacity, whereas power sharing is incomprehensible?...

Part I. Power Sharing and Electoral Systems

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2. Electoral Rules and Ethnic Representation and Accommodation: Combining Social Choice and Electoral System Perspectives

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pp. 67-93

Decisions about voting rules can be regarded as one of the four most important choices structuring sociopo liti cal relationships, each of which has implications for ethnic repre sen ta tion, the central concern of this essay. Unlike the other three major choices— choosing between a unitary versus a federal system,1 choosing a parliamentary as opposed to a presidential system,2 and ...

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3. The Track Record of Centripetalism in Deeply Divided Places

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pp. 94-111

In ethnically divided places, exclusion from government tends to be associated with exclusion in the wider polity (Horowitz 1993). Centripetalism, as developed and defended by Donald L. Horowitz, is seen as a novel strategy for the design of po liti cal institutions intended to mitigate this sense of exclusion. Centripetalism, sometimes called the integrative approach, is thought ...

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4. Electoral Engineering for a Stalled Federation

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pp. 112-132

On June 13, 2010, a new Belgian federal parliament was elected. Th e elections had been held earlier than scheduled following the resignation of the federal government that had been unable to fi nd an agreement between the Dutch- speaking and the French- speaking parties on the boundaries...

Part II. Historical and Conceptual Forays into Power Sharing

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5. A Theory of Accommodation Versus Conflict: With Special Reference to the Israel-Palestine Conflict

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pp. 135-175

Can rational choice provide a model that explains sustained moderate or conflict- regulating power- sharing behavior in deeply divided places? Th is is the question addressed in this chapter. I start with a model of extremist behavior developed previously (Wintrobe 2006a, 2006b). The first third of the chapter outlines the basics of that model. Th e second third applies it to the...

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6. The Success of Religion as a Source for Compromise in Divided Empires: Ottoman and Safavid, Past and Present

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pp. 176-197

Contrary to the conventional assumptions of the moment, religion has been a means for political accommodation, integration, and stability in the Middle East for most of half a millennium, if not more. Th e forces that have converted it into a source for confl ict over recent centuries have arisen not from the intrinsic qualities of religion itself but rather from the corrosive...

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7. Geopolitics and the Long-Term Construction of Democracy

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pp. 198-213

To consider the future of democracy in Iraq, Pakistan, Russia, and other troubled places requires a theory of its social conditions. And in fact, the future of democracy anywhere cannot be taken for granted. Democracy is not an all- or- nothing condition: either you have it or you do not. Varying degrees of democracy have been created over the years and have declined as ...

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8. Courts, Constitutions, and the Limits of Majoritarianism

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pp. 214-228

As my colleague Richard Pildes (2004) has proclaimed, we are in the Age of Democracy. Today more citizens participate in popular elections of government than at any other time in the history of world affairs. Democratization movements throughout the world have produced institutions of self- governance in regions where this was previously unthinkable. Even ...

Part III. Contemporary Power-Sharing Questions

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9. A Revised Theory of Federacy and a Case Study of Civil War Termination in Aceh, Indonesia

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pp. 231-252

All independent demo cratic states have a degree of cultural diversity, but for comparative purposes we can say that, at any given time, states may be divided analytically into three different categories: ...

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10. We Forbid! The Mutual Veto and Power-Sharing Democracy

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pp. 253-277

On July 22, 2008, Serbian security forces surprised the world by finally arresting Bosnian Serb war time leader Radovan Karadžić, captured on a bus as he traveled about Belgrade disguised as a New Age guru. Th e International Criminal Court for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) had indicted Karadžić twelve years earlier on eleven counts of genocide, complicity in genocide, war ...

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11. Northern Ireland: Power Sharing, Contact, Identity, and Leadership

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pp. 278-294

Some commentators argue (pace McGarry and O’Leary 2006) that power sharing cannot provide a durable solution to intractable identity- based conflicts (Sisk 2003) but instead “provides only a temporary lull” in the conflict and may even “freeze group boundaries” and “heighten latent ethnic identities” (Norris 2005, 3). Perhaps what is needed to ensure the ultimate success ...

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12. Public Opinion and Power Sharing in Deeply Divided Places

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pp. 295-311

Power sharing is generally thought of in terms of various constitutional arrangements made for different political parties representing contending groups to share power. But does it need to end there? Can power sharing be extended to include “the people” in some way, and if this is done is it a good idea? Will it help the political process or will it make decision ...

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13. The Balkans: The Promotion of Power Sharing by Outsiders

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pp. 312-326

Former Yugoslavia has been a fertile ground for experimentation with power sharing since the mid- 1990s. Proposals for varying forms of power sharing have been made by international actors in numerous peace plans and by domestic actors for nearly every country or region that emerged from Yugoslavia. Th e power- sharing arrangements that emerged in former Yugoslavia ...

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14. Governing Polarized Cities

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pp. 327-363

This chapter provides a comparative analysis of different institutional approaches to dealing with antagonistic group identity claims on the city. I discuss Brussels, Johannesburg, Belfast, Sarajevo, Jerusalem, Baghdad, and Kirkuk. These cities are broken down into three categories: (1) cities that have utilized power sharing and forms of transitional demo cratization effectively ...

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15. Power Sharing in Kirkuk: The Need for Compromise

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pp. 364-385

On July 22, 2008, the Iraqi Parliament passed the provincial elections law with 127 of the 142 members present voting in favor. Kurdistan’s members of the Baghdad Parliament did not attend the vote, having staged a walkout in protest over the inclusion of Article 24 of the law. This delayed elections in Kirkuk but mandated, in the meantime, power sharing among the ...

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16. Power Sharing: An Advocate's Conclusion

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pp. 386-422

Leading analysts of power sharing have presented some of their recent and current research in this volume. They were not requested to provide comparative and empirical case studies directly to test commonly held hypotheses about power sharing; and they were not asked to supply case studies to illuminate mechanisms and processes that explain the correlations found in ...

List of Contributors

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pp. 423-424


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pp. 425-436


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pp. 437-442

E-ISBN-13: 9780812207989
E-ISBN-10: 081220798X
Print-ISBN-13: 9780812245011
Print-ISBN-10: 0812245016

Page Count: 432
Illustrations: 25 illus.
Publication Year: 2013

Series Title: National and Ethnic Conflict in the 21st Century
Series Editor Byline: Brendan O'Leary, Series Editor See more Books in this Series

OCLC Number: 859161000
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Power Sharing in Deeply Divided Places

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Ethnic groups -- Political activity.
  • Minorities -- Political activity.
  • Representative government and representation.
  • Ethnic conflict -- Political aspects.
  • Cultural pluralism -- Political aspects.
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