Power-Sharing and Political Stability in Deeply Divided Societies  book cover
1st Edition

Power-Sharing and Political Stability in Deeply Divided Societies

ISBN 9781138024762
Published May 20, 2014 by Routledge
188 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Nearly all the peace accords signed in the last two decades have included power-sharing in one form or another. The notion of both majority and minority segments co-operating for the purposes of political stability has informed both international policy prescriptions for post-conflict zones and home-grown power-sharing pacts across the globe.

This book examines the effect of power-sharing forms of governance in bringing about political stability amid deep divisions. It is the first major comparison of two power-sharing designs – consociationalism and centripetalism - and it assesses a number of cases central to the debate, including Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Fiji, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi and Northern Ireland. Drawing on information from a variety of sources, such as political party manifestoes and websites, media coverage, think tank reports, and election results, the author reaches significant conclusions about power-sharing as an invaluable conflict-management device.

This text will be of key interest to students and scholars of ethnic conflict management, power-sharing, ethnic politics, democracy and democratization, comparative constitutional design, comparative politics, intervention and peace-building.

Table of Contents

1 Power-Sharing, Political Stability and Deep Divisions  2 Consociationalism, Centripetalism and The Intellectual Conflict  3 Consociationalism  4 Centripetalism  Chapter 5 Context Matters

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Allison McCulloch is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Brandon University.


This book contributes to the debate between Arend Lijphart and Donald Horowitz, which concerns the best institutional means for promoting stable democracy in deeply (here specifically ethnically) divided societies. Treating both Lijphart's consociationalism and Horowitz's centripetalism as forms of "power sharing", McCulloch (Brandon Univ.) provides useful overviews of these two approaches to managing conflict through democratic means.

Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduate, graduate, and research collections.

--P. J. Howe, Adrian College, CHOICE