Can Power-Sharing Foster Peace? Evidence from Northern Ireland

45 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2017

See all articles by Hannes Felix Mueller

Hannes Felix Mueller

Autonomous University of Barcelona

Dominic Rohner

University of Lausanne; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: October 2017


In the absence of power-sharing, minority groups in opposition have powerful incentives to substitute the ballot with the bullet. In contrast, when power is shared among all major groups in society, the relative gains of sticking to electoral politics are larger for minority groups. After making the theoretical argument, we provide in the current paper an empirical analysis of the impact of power-sharing at the local level, making use of fine-grained data from Northern Ireland's 26 local district councils over the 1973-2001 period. We find that power-sharing has a sizable and robust conflict-reducing impact.

Keywords: conflict, elections, Northern Ireland, Peace, Power-Sharing, Terrorism

JEL Classification: C26, D72, D74

Suggested Citation

Mueller, Hannes Felix and Rohner, Dominic, Can Power-Sharing Foster Peace? Evidence from Northern Ireland (October 2017). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP12382, Available at SSRN:

Hannes Felix Mueller (Contact Author)

Autonomous University of Barcelona ( email )

Plaça Cívica
Cerdañola del Valles
Barcelona, Barcelona 08193

Dominic Rohner

University of Lausanne ( email )

Quartier Chambronne
Lausanne, Vaud CH-1015

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

United Kingdom

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics