It is widely assumed that internal power-sharing is a viable democratic means of managing inter-communal conflict in divided societies. In principle, this form of government enables communities that have conflicting identities to remedy longstanding patterns of discrimination and to co-exist peacefully. Key arguments in support of this view can be found in the highly influential works of Arend Lijphart and Donald Horowitz. New Challenges for Power-Sharing seeks to explore the unintended consequences of power-sharing for the communities themselves, their individual members, and for others in society. More specifically, it is distinctive in questioning explicitly whether power sharing: perpetuates inter-communal conflict by institutionalising difference at the political level; inhibits conflict resolution by encouraging extremism; stifles internal diversity; and fails to leave sufficient space for individual autonomy.
This book not only provides a theoretical exploration and critique of these questions, but comprehensively examines specific test cases where power-sharing institutions have been established, including in Northern Ireland, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia and Lebanon. It also explores such issues as the role of political leaders, human rights instruments, the position of women, and the prospects for reconciliation within such societies. Furthermore it provides a detailed set of policy recommendations to meet the challenges of transition in deeply-divided societies.
Ian O'Flynn is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Essex and Visiting Scholar at Harvard. David Russell is currently Research Associate at the Centre for Lebanese Studies, Oxford University.
Introduction: New Challenges for Power Sharing Ian O'Flynn ((Lecturer in Politics at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne) and David Russell (Policy Officer at the Northern Ireland Community Relations Council, Research Associate, Democratic Dialogue, Belfast and Research Associate, The Centre for Lebanese Studies, University of Oxford) Part 1. Conceptual Issues 1. Democratic Values and Power Sharing Ian O'Flynn 2. Integration and Autonomy: Minority rights and Political Accommodation Tom Hadden (teaches human rights and conflict resolution at Queen's University Belfast as a part-time Professor of Law) 3. Breaking Antagonism? Political Leadership in Divided Societies Duncan Morrow (Chief Executive Officer of the Northern Ireland Community Relations Council) 4. Electoral Systems Design and Power-Sharing Regimes Stefan Wolff (Professor of Political Science at the University of Bath) Part 2. Case Studies 5. The Failure of Moderate Politics: The Case of Northern Ireland Anthony Oberschall (Emeritus Professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) and L. Kendall Palmer ((Lecturer in Politics at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne) 6. The Unintended Consequences of Consociational Federalism: The Case of Belgium Kris Deschouwer (Professor of Politics at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel) 7. Partial Implementation, Partial Success: The Case of Macedonia Florian Bieber (Senior Non-resident Research Associate of the European Centre for Minority Issues, Belgrade. He teaches at Central European University (Budapest), the University of Sarajevo and the University of Bologna) 8. The Dichotomy of International Mediation and Leader Intransigence: The Case of Bosnia and Herzegovina Marie-Joelle Zahar (Assistant Professor of Political Science at the Universite de Montreal) 9. Power Sharing and National Reconciliation: The Case of Lebanon David Russell and Nadim Shehadi (Director of the Centre for Lebanese Studies, an independent academic research institution affiliated to the Middle East Centre at St Antony's College, Oxford University) Part 3. Deepening Democracy 10. Overlapping Identities: Power Sharing and Women's Rights Rachel Rebouche (Juris Doctorate Candidate at Harvard Law School) and Kate Fearon (founder member of the Northern Ireland Women's Coalition, an adviser to its Northern Ireland Peace Talks negotiation team and adviser to its Assembly Members in the First Northern Ireland Assembly) 11. Below and Beyond Power Sharing: Relational Structures across Institutions and Civil Society Manlio Cinalli (Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute, Florence, and Research Fellow at the University of Leeds) 12. The Challenge of Reconciliation in Post-conflict Societies: Definitions, Problems and Proposals Brandon Hamber (Research Associate of Democratic Dialogue, Belfast) and Grainne Kelly (Research Associate of Democratic Dialogue, Belfast) 13. Towards a Civic Culture: Implications for Power Sharing Policy Makers Robin Wilson (Director of the Belfast-based think tank Democratic Dialogue) List of Contributors Index