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.
For more details, see here https://sites.google.com/site/eaidilemma/belfast-2017