The role of external actors in incentivizing post-conflict power-sharing

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10 Citations (Scopus)


External actors engaged in peace building often induce domestic elites to share power. This article explores the effectiveness of external incentives in establishing, maintaining or reforming power-sharing. Adopting a rationalist approach to socialization, the research investigates the strategic interaction between external and internal actors in two cases of contemporary power-sharing: Northern Ireland and Bosnia-Herzegovina. External incentives will probably be more effective when they uphold a peace agreement that satisfies groups’ structural preferences on constitutional issues. External incentives can, under certain conditions, lead to internalization and the potential ‘habitualization’ of power-sharing as norm-conforming behaviour. The strategy of external actors will be less effective when their socialization efforts are inconsistent and coercive, viewed as threatening to one or more of the contending groups.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-69
Number of pages23
JournalGovernment and Opposition
Issue number1
Early online date9 Jul 2013
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


  • external actors in peacebuilding
  • power-sharing
  • conflict resolution


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