Project file

  • Project's name:Can Power-sharing Foster Peace? Evidence From Northern Ireland
  • Services:
    • Academic Research
  • Client:Economic Policy, 33(95), pp. 447–484.
  • Year of the project: 2018
  • Project Type: Publication
  • State: Published
  • Acknowledgments: joint with Dominic Rohner

Can Power-sharing Foster Peace? Evidence From Northern Ireland

Abstract: Much anecdotal evidence and journalist accounts suggest a potentially important role for power-sharing to curb conflict, and there is a clear tendency for some ethnically or religiously divided countries to adopt some power-sharing. Many successful and peaceful ethnically and religiously divided countries chose the so-called "Consensus Model of Democracy" characterized by power-sharing and the decentralization of power on all levels. Still, while historical examples tell us that several ethnically and politically divided countries adopted power-sharing and that this correlates with peace and prosperity, this is a long way from showing systematic statistical evidence that the adoption of power-sharing results in a reduction of the risk of conflict. In fact, there is surprising little hard, statistical evidence linking power-sharing to peace. To address the shortcomings in the existing literature, in this paper we study the impact of power-sharing on the risk of conflict. After the discussion of the underlying theory, as a next step, we use very disaggregated data from Northern Ireland. Using data on the identity of the chairmen in district councils we define power-sharing at the local level as a situation where none of the sectarian parties holds both chairs. We then see whether this local power-sharing has reduced the scope for violence during the past decades. 

Pre-print version can be downloaded here. The full article is published here. Video of Dominic Rohner presenting the paper can be viewed here.

Keywords: power sharing, armed conflict, political institutions, political violence, Northern Ireland, troubles.

  • Compartir: