The co-authors use their personal experiences of Northern Ireland, Brussels and Cyprus to examine successful power-sharing strategies and demonstrate where reform has helped build trust and consensus.
Conflict resolution experts, Professor Feargal Cochrane, Professor Neophytos Loizides and POLIR MA alumnus Thibaud Bodson explain how, to be successful, power-sharing has to adapt to changes in the political landscape.
Mediating Power-Sharing: Devolution and Consociationalism in Deeply Divided Societies focuses on the design and operation of power-sharing in deeply divided societies.
Beyond this starting point, it seeks to examine the different ways in which consociational institutions emerge from negotiations and peace settlements across three counter-intuitive cases – post-Brexit referendum Northern Ireland, the Brussels Capital Region and Cyprus. Across each of the chapters, the analysis assesses how the design or mediation of these various forms of power-sharing demonstrate similarity, difference and complexity in how consociationalism has been conceived of and operated within each of these contexts. Finally, a key objective of the book is to explore and evaluate how ideas surrounding power-sharing have evolved and changed incrementally within each of the empirical contexts. The unifying argument within the book is that power-sharing has to have the capacity to adapt to changing political circumstances, and that this can be achieved through the interplay of formal and informal micro-level refinements to these institutions and the procedures that govern them, that allow such institutions to evolve over time in ways that increase their utility as conflict transformation governance structures for deeply divided societies.
This book fills the gap in the published literature between theoretical and empirical studies of power-sharing.