Power Sharing and International Mediation in Ethnic Conflicts

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Can power sharing prevent violent ethnic conflict? And if so, how can the international community best promote that outcome?

In this concise volume, Timothy Sisk defines power sharing as practices and institutions that result in broad-based governing coalitions generally inclusive of all major ethnic groups. He identifies the principal approaches to power sharing, including autonomy, federations, and proportional electoral systems.

In addition, Sisk highlights the problems with various power-sharing approaches and practices that have been raised by scholars and practitioners alike, and the instances where power-sharing experiments have succeeded and where they have failed. Finally, he offers some guidance to policymakers as they ponder power-sharing arrangements.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
A useful survey of the burgeoning academic field of ethnic studies and the dynamics of ethnic conflicts. It offers practical advice regarding approaches which might or might not work in attenuating ethnic disputes. It is also realistic in seeking to apply various principles and techniques to the real world.
Herbert Okun
A useful survey of the burgeoning academic field of ethnic studies and the dynamics of ethnic conflicts. It offers practical advice regarding approaches which might or might not work in attenuating ethnic disputes. It is also realistic in seeking to apply various principles and techniques to the real world.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781878379566
  • Publisher: United States Institute of Peace Press (USIP Press)
  • Publication date: 9/28/1996
  • Series: Perspectives Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Timothy D. Sisk, a program officer with the Grant Program at the Institute, specializes in contemporary ethnic conflicts and the means for their management or resolution, with primary interests in Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East. He has organized a number of Institute events and authored reports on South Africa, Kashmir, and political Islam. The author of Democratization in South Africa: The Elusive Social Contract (Princeton University Press, 1995) and Power Sharing and International Mediation in Ethnic Conflicts (USIP Press and Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict, 1996), Sisk has also written a number of articles for scholarly journals on South Africa, ethnic conflict, and democracy. In 1991, he was a Fulbright scholar in South Africa, where he conducted field research on the negotiated transition from apartheid to majority rule. For the 1995 fall semester, he was a visiting fellow at the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo to conduct a comparative study of contemporary peace processes. Sisk holds a Ph.D. in political science from George Washington University.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1
2 Ethnic Conflict: Approaches, Patterns, and Dynamics 11
3 Democracy and Its Alternatives in Deeply Divided Societies 27
4 A Typology of Conflict-Regulating Practices 47
5 Power Sharing and Peace Processes 77
6 International Intervention and Power Sharing 87
Notes 119
References 133
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