Power-Sharing, Conflict Resolution, and Women: A Global Reappraisal

Citation: Bell, C. (2018). Power-Sharing, Conflict Resolution, and Women: A Global Reappraisal.  Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, 28(1), pp. 13-32.

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Abstract: Peace processes in intrastate conflict have, since 1990, overwhelmingly institutionalized compromises between contenders for power in the form of power-sharing arrangements. This article focuses on political power-sharing, drawing qualitatively on a global data-set of peace agreements (PA-X, Peace Agreement Database). It argues that peace agreements indicate three main functions for political power-sharing: permanent group accommodation, equitable representation of minorities in autonomy regimes, and transition management. Each of these power-sharing types raises different opportunities and challenges for women’s inclusion and equality. The analysis aims to inform women’s engagement with power-sharing design and implementation in fragile and conflict-affected states. It also introduces the importance of function into the power-sharing literature, which is mostly concerned with form, while illustrating the value of global data on peace agreements to “midlevel analysis” capable of bridging between broad quantitative generalizations and detailed case study analysis.