The Illusion of Inclusion: Assessing the Effects and Gendered Implications of Power Sharing

Master Thesis

Azba, Natalie (2021) The Illusion of Inclusion: Assessing the Effects and Gendered Implications of Power Sharing. MA thesis, Department of Political Science, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.

​In parallel with the rise of the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda after the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 in 2000, consociational power sharing has emerged as the model of choice for post-conflict governance within the international peacebuilding community. Although both WPS and power sharing have inclusion at their core, however, the literature on power sharing has thus far exclusively focused on the connection between power sharing and democracy, and power sharing's ability to ensure ethnic minority representation in decision-making processes, with no clear attention given to gender. Similarly, feminist political theory and WPS-related research have not explored the role of power-sharing in-depth.

While previous research has not examined the potential effects of political inclusive power sharing, this thesis thereby addresses a central knowledge gap on the potentially illusory connection between political inclusive power sharing in postconflict settings and the actual effects on women's representation, participation, and empowerment. By reviewing and drawing on both works of literature, this thesis examines the gendered implications of power sharing, and highlights how existing power sharing models are not able to fully accommodate other differences that ethno-national identities, and that such models, therefore, might not promote gender equality through women's empowerment.

This study sits at the intersection of political institutions, power sharing, feminist literature, as well as post-conflict state-building. The analysis builds on two opposing assumptions regarding the implementation of power sharing and how these institutions affect women's inclusions and empowerment. Consequently, this thesis offers a linear country-year fixed effects research design that analyzes the cause-and-effect relationships between inclusive power sharing, female inclusion, and women's empowerment in all global states between 1975-2010. Despite the lack of sufficient attention given to gender in power sharing frameworks, such institutions remain a tool for promoting women's formal political representation in post-conflict societies.

The statistical results demonstrate that the first measurement of female inclusion, namely the proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments, is positive and statistically significant and thereby affected by inclusive power sharing arrangements. However, the other models find no statistical support that the implementation of inclusive power sharing increases women's empowerment in civil society.

Authors

Natalie Azba

Natalie Azba

Master's Student/Research Assistant

Supervisors

Scott Gates

Scott Gates

Research Professor

Louise Olsson

Louise Olsson

Senior Researcher