Peace as governance? Critical challenges to power-sharing peace deals: Lessons for policymakers

Working paper

Sriram, Chandra Lekha 2009. Peace as governance? Critical challenges to power-sharing peace deals: Lessons for policymakers. 3, June 2009.
AuthorsSriram, Chandra Lekha
TypeWorking paper

This policy paper seeks to offer insights for policymakers
regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the use of
power-sharing in peace processes. It is based upon
close studies in three countries with protracted armed
conflicts and peace processes—Sri Lanka, Sudan, and
Colombia—as well as comparative analysis of nearly
thirty peace processes involving power-sharing elements
since the end of the Cold War. Power-sharing should
be understood as a broad strategy, comprising not only
power-sharing as traditionally understood, involving
political power-sharing, but also other governance
incentives commonly offered to induce armed groups
to negotiate peace agreements, and to implement
peace agreements, such as resource-sharing, inclusion
in security structures, and territorial autonomy. Close
examination demonstrates that while these incentives
often have appeal for armed groups, this appeal is often
overrated, and may frequently generate institutional
arrangements and political dynamics that are unstable in
the medium to long term. A re-evaluation of this strategy
is sorely needed, as it is commonly deployed relatively
uncritically, and power-sharing and similar incentives
can often reify existing cleavages in societies, increasing
rather than decreasing the risk of conflict. Specifically,
power-sharing may import or embed social divisions that
have the potential to become conflictual in new, weak,
or dysfunctional institutions of governance that are not
prepared to manage them.

KeywordsSri Lanka; Sudan; Colombia; Power-sharing; peace processes; peacebuilding; conflict resoulution
Publisher3, June 2009
Web address (URL) HRCFinal.pdf
Publication dates
PrintJun 2009
Publication process dates
Deposited23 Nov 2010
Additional information

Sriram, C.L. (2009) ‘Peace as governance? Critical challenges to powersharing peace deals: Lessons for policymakers’ Centre on Human Rights in Conflict, Policy Paper No.3, June 2009.

Series Centre on Human Rights in Conflict Policy Paper No.3
Publisher's version
Permalink -

Download files

  • 79
    total views
  • 70
    total downloads
  • 1
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month

Export as