Military Power Sharing and Inclusion in Peace Processes

Christine Bell, Sam Gluckstein, Robert Forster, Jan Pospisil

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

Abstract / Description of output

Military power-sharing is an effective tool for ending violence.
Military power-sharing arrangements focus on the inclusion of groups key to the conflict, but in doing so can create perverse incentives to smaller groups outside of the main peace agreement consensus to assert their claims violently.
International militaries are often also involved both in the fabric of military power-sharing arrangements, and in supporting the development of military power-sharing and the practical training and financing of its implementation.
Military power-sharing must be understood as one part in a wider ‘security transition’.
Military power-sharing needs to be supported with contextual awareness and understanding of the different possible goals of the arrangements.
Important questions to ask of military power-sharing arrangements include:
*) Whether the provisions are intended as transitional, in which case they will affect
the conduct of the transitional arrangements and will need a longer-term security transition plan.
*) Whether they are intended as part of a wider indefinite ‘deal’ focused on inclusion of a previously excluded ethnic group.
*) Whether they are part of a broader process of democratisation of armed forces.
*) Whether they contemplate not just army but also policing functions and the need to re-configure the relationship between the two.
*) The extent to which there is a tradition of functional public institutions and any rule of law capacity in the society.
*) Whether international peacekeeping forces or other forms of international DDR and SSR support mechanism are present.
It is important to anticipate whether military power-sharing proposals are likely to result in joint exercise of power in a unified state army or ‘split’ security force with ‘forces within forces’ reporting to a split ‘government of national unity’ or a highly territorially devolved political arrangement.
Consider what rule of law and reform measures might mitigate the role of elite and powerful leaders maintaining permanent dominance through military power-sharing in the long-term.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherPolitical Settlements Research Programme
Commissioning bodyDepartment for International Development
Number of pages68
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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