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Title: Inclusion in post-conflict political institutions : the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Kosovo Assembly in comparative perspective
Author: Potter, Michael
ISNI:       0000 0004 6499 9239
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2017
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This research tests the hypothesis that post-conflict power-sharing systems are less inclusive on the grounds that they are designed to accommodate those participating in conflict, rather than for the governance of a society in general, with all its diversity. The importance of the research is that, if power-sharing systems are seen as a means for managing violent inter-communal conflict, there needs to be an understanding of the pitfalls of such an approach. Seeing to the immediate needs of groups engaged in violence not only marginalises other identities, but also rewards more extreme methods of political expression with access to political power and decision-making privileges. The particular research draws on two cases that have approached power-sharing differently since the late 1990s: Northern Ireland as a consociational system and Kosovo as a power-sharing system with minority community safeguards. The research draws specifically on primary interview material in both contexts, focussing on gender and minority ethnic identity, as a contribution to the wider literature on these two conflicts in particular and on ethnic conflict management more broadly. Specifically, this is the first occasion on which these two cases have been subjected to in-depth comparative analysis. The analysis utilises theories of political inclusion, specifically drawing on deliberative democracy. This is operationalised through an analytical framework developed by Yvonne Galligan and Sara Clavero (2008). The research set out to examine whether post-conflict power-sharing legislatures exclude identities not associated with the conflict they are intended to manage. The evidence is that they do. Such political institutions are dominated by conflict elites or parties aligned along conflict lines and the primary capital of political debate relates to the conflict paradigm. Whether the political landscape is a legacy of a persistent conflict model anyway or whether political institutions help to mould and shape such preoccupations, the political structures that privilege conflict identity certainly sustain such a system. The research also demonstrated the effectiveness of the Galligan/Clavero framework as a robust analytical tool for the measurement of political inclusion, not just for gender democracy, for which it was designed, but for other identities.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available