Peace by Design? Self-determination and Power Sharing in Divided Societies

Examining self-governing regimes in 11 cases in Africa, Asia and Europe, I evaluate the particular structures of state construction in each case and contextualise them briefly in the nature and dynamics of each individual self-determination conflict. Following this empirical overview, I then assess the significance of self-governance institutions by comparing and contrasting all cases from the perspective of the types of institutional structures; the combination of vertical and horizontal power-sharing mechanisms; the distribution of powers at and between different vertical layers of authority; the types of coordination between different vertical layers of authority; the constitutional and legal entrenchment of the institutions created; and territory and population as boundaries of authority. Following this thematic comparison, I examine three common and potentially problematic issues relating to institutions of self-governance: the relationship between vertical and horizontal layers of power sharing, the coordination of government activities at and between these different layers, and the overall political institutional settlement within which vertically and horizontally structured institutions have to operate. Synthesising this discussion, I conclude by outlining the role that self-governance can play as part of a conflict resolution ‘toolkit’.


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