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The Prevalence of Power-Sharing: Exploring the Patterns of Post-Election Peace

Anna Jarstad ()

Africa Spectrum, 2009, vol. 44, issue 3, 41-62

Abstract: Why are some elections followed by armed conflict, while others are not? This article begins to explore this question by mapping the prevalence of power-sharing agreements and patterns of post-election peace in states shattered by civil war. While democracy builds on the notion of free political competition and uncertain electoral outcomes, power-sharing reduces the uncertainty by ensuring political power for certain groups. Nevertheless, new data presented in this article . the Post-Accord Elections (PAE) data collection . shows that the issues of peace, power-sharing and democracy have become intertwined as the vast majority of contemporary peace agreements provide for both power-sharing and elections. First, in contrast to previous research which has suggested that power-sharing is a tool for ending violence, this study shows that conflict often continues after an agreement has been signed, even if it includes provisions for power-sharing. Second, this investigation shows no evidence of power-sharing facilitating the holding of elections. On the contrary, it is more common that elections are held following a peace process without power-sharing. Third, a period of power-sharing ahead of the elections does not seem to provide for postelection peace. Rather, such elections are similarly dangerous as post-accord elections held without a period of power-sharing. The good news is that power-sharing does not seem to have a negative effect on post-election peace.

Keywords: Armed conflict; Power-sharing, Peace terms; Elections (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010-03
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Handle: RePEc:gig:afjour:v:44:y:2009:i:3:p:41-62