Power Sharing: Institutions, Behavior, and Peace

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Cederman, Lars-Erik; Scott Gates; Benjamin Graham; Simon Hug; Kaare Strøm & Julian Wucherpfennig (2019) Power Sharing: Institutions, Behavior, and Peace, American Journal of Political Science 63(1): 84–100.

​Grievances that derive from the unequal treatment of ethnic groups are a key motivation for civil war. Ethnic power sharing should therefore reduce the risk of internal conflict. Yet conflict researchers disagree on whether formal power‐sharing institutions effectively prevent large‐scale violence. We can improve our understanding of the effect of power‐sharing institutions by analyzing the mechanisms under which they operate. To this effect, we compare the direct effect of formal power‐sharing institutions on peace with their indirect effect through power‐sharing behavior. Combining data on inclusive and territorially dispersive institutions with information on power‐sharing behavior, we empirically assess this relationship on a global scale. Our causal mediation analysis reveals that formal power‐sharing institutions affect the probability of ethnic conflict onset mostly through power‐sharing behavior that these institutions induce.

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Authors

Lars-Erik Cederman

Lars-Erik Cederman

PRIO Global Fellow

Scott Gates

Scott Gates

Research Professor

Simon Hug

Simon Hug

Professor of Political Science, Département de science politique, Université de Genève

Kaare Strøm

Kaare Strøm

Professor of Political Science, University of California, San Diego