Challenging Identity Hierarchies: Gender and Consociational Power-Sharing

Citation:

Kennedy, Ronan, Claire Pierson, and Jennifer Thomson. 2016. “Challenging Identity Hierarchies: Gender and Consociational Power-Sharing.” The British Journal of Politics and International Relations 18 (3): 618-33.

Authors: Ronan Kennedy, Claire Pierson, Jennifer Thomson

Abstract:

Consociational democracy has become the most influential paradigm in the field of powersharing institutional design and post-conflict peacebuilding. Consociation institutes representation for certain formerly excluded groups. However, it simultaneously inhibits effective political representation for groups that do not align with the societal divisions that consociation seeks to accommodate, specifically the ‘additional’ cleavage of gender. Given the extensive use of the consociational model as a peacebuilding tool in divided states and the growing awareness of the disproportionate negative effect of conflict on women, there is a surprising lack of consideration of the effect that consociational power-sharing has on women’s representation. This article considers the specific impact that the consociational model has on women’s representation. We argue that because gender is an integral factor in conflict, it should therefore be integral to postconflict governance. With empirical reference to contemporary Northern Ireland, it is illustrated that consociationalism is a ‘gender-blind’ theory.

Keywords: consocationalism, gender, Northern Ireland, post-conflict, power-sharing

Topics: Gender, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Peacebuilding, Political Participation, Post-Conflict Regions: Europe, Western Europe Countries: Ireland

Year: 2016

© 2019 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.