Exclusion amid Inclusion?: How Power Sharing Engages Non-Dominant Communities

9-10 November 2017, Queen's University Belfast

Over the last two decades consociational power-sharing has emerged as the dominant model for the governance of societies transitioning from conflict, applied in settings as diverse as Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Kosovo and Iraq. Whilst this trend in international peacebuilding has seen peace and stability secured in a number of conflicts previously considered intractable, fundamental tensions remain in the theory and practice of power-sharing. Chief amongst these issues is the apparent ‘trade-off' assumed in power-sharing pacts between political stability and broader societal inclusion. As a system predicated on the inclusion of the dominant ethnic/ethnonational communities in society, power-sharing is seen to sacrifice the inclusion of other groups that hold alternative identities, including gender, sexuality and class. It is to these fundamental questions of inclusion and exclusion that contemporary power-sharing scholarship increasingly turns, in an attempt to elucidate the gaps and limitations inherent in the democratic model and find solutions to such deficiencies.

This conference addresses this critical issue of the exclusion of non-dominant groups that are not explicitly represented in power-sharing agreements; of exclusion amid inclusion. It brings together scholars concerned with this question from a range of perspectives, disciplines and fields, including but not limited to: democracy in divided societies, conflict resolution, democratization, post-conflict state building, political settlements, ethnic politics, gender, nationalism and national identity, migration and equality and diversity studies.

A number of related topics will be explored in this two day event, including the impact of power-sharing on non-aligned groups, such as non-ethnic political parties, civic social movements, migrant communities, women and LGBTQ groups.

 Key questions addressed in the conference will be:

  •  How do non-dominant groups experience power-sharing systems?
  •  What opportunities and constraints do these groups encounter in such settings?
  •  How can power-sharing institutions better accommodate these collectives?
  •  What strategies do non-dominant actors use to mobilise within these political structures?

The programme will present cutting edge research in the fields of power-sharing, post-conflict democratization and state building. Professor Allison McCulloch will act as a keynote speaker.

We welcome contributions which address these core themes and questions from a variety of perspectives, including theoretical and empirical papers and encourage applications to a wide range of international cases studies, both single case and comparative.  By drawing together relevant expertise and ideas from across the world, this event aims to provide a timely forum for the discussion of equality and inclusion in divided societies and ultimately move this debate forward.

Proposals for papers should include the contact details of the author(s) and an abstract of up to 200 words.

Panel proposals must include:

  • a minimum of three papers and a maximum of four
  • contact details of paper-givers and (if available) the discussant and chair
  • panel title and individual paper titles
  • a short description of panel (maximum 200 words)

Proposals should be submitted online https://form.jotformeu.com/71581805645360

The final deadline for submission of proposals for papers or panels will be midday, September 1 2017. Notices of acceptance will sent out within a week of the date. 

Organising committee: Timofey Agarin, Queen’s University Belfast; Cera Murtagh, Queen's University Belfast.

Should you have any questions, please email eai.dilemma@gmail.com





The Centre for the Study of Ethnic Conflict regularly hosts international research conferences and workshops, highlighting critical moments in the life of Northern Ireland, UK, European Union and regularly address questions of ethnic stabilty and conflict in transforming national and international environments.

You can see the description of our past events here

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