Building Bridges to Peace: A Quantitative Evaluation of Power-Sharing Agreements

JIWP Number: 2227

Mueller, H., Rauh, C.


Power sharing refers to sharing of political power by different groups in the same government, like, for example, in a coalition government. Power sharing is a central pillar of armed conflict mediation and de-escalation attempts worldwide and is thus employed as a tool to reduce political violence. A large majority of peace agreements include power sharing provisions, the most recent ones include Libya, the Mindanao agreement and Colombia.

But does power sharing work in practice to reduce political violence? At face value, the news is not good. Almost 90% of power-sharing agreements do not result in a complete halt of political violence, and there is some controversy regarding their role in key cases such as Afghanistan and Iraq, where conflict parties lack political legitimacy amongst the international community.