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Power Sharing and Democracy in Post-Civil War States
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Power Sharing and Democracy in Post-Civil War States examines the challenge of promoting democracy in the aftermath of civil war. Hartzell and Hoddie argue that minimalist democracy is the most realistic form of democracy to which states emerging from civil war violence can aspire. The adoption of power-sharing institutions within civil war settlements helps mitigate insecurity and facilitate democracy's emergence. Power sharing promotes 'democratization from above' by limiting the capacity of the state to engage in predatory behavior, and 'democratization from below' by empowering citizens to participate in politics. Drawing on cross-national and case study evidence, Hartzell and Hoddie find that post-civil war countries that adopt extensive power sharing are ultimately more successful in transitioning to minimalist democracy than countries that do not. Power Sharing and Democracy in Post-Civil War States presents a new and hopeful understanding of what democracy can look like and how it can be fostered.


'Hartzell and Hoddie’s book should be required reading for scholars and practitioners seeking to achieve sustainable peace after civil wars. The authors make a convincing case that power sharing and democracy are not as incompatible as often suggested. They demonstrate clearly that there are pathways for countries ravaged by civil war to achieve at least minimal levels of democratic governance by opting for extensive power-sharing institutions.'

Stefan Wolff - University of Birmingham

'Many critics argue that the power-sharing provisions included in peace agreements inherently undermine key features of democracy such as competition and accountability. Against this extreme pessimism, Hartzell and Hoddie show that power-sharing agreements that safeguard the interest of antagonists in a conflict can also promote democratization. This insightful book is essential reading for all interested in democratization in the aftermath of conflict and how conflict can affect the development of institutions.'

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch - University of Essex and Peace Research Institute Oslo

'Hartzell and Hoddie argue persuasively that less may lead to more. After civil wars, people do not have to choose security or democracy. Minimal democracy, through power sharing, can stabilize peace. A consolidated competitive democracy may materialize later, as long as it is not prematurely imposed. This careful work should be read by scholars, students, and policy-makers, and then read again, and again.'

Brendan O’Leary - Lauder Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania

‘This is a very interesting and pedagogical account on power sharing and democracy in post-civil war states.’

Anna Jarstad Source: Journal of Peace Research

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