Power-sharing as a mode of conflict management in post conflict societies in Africa: challenges and opportunities
Power-sharing transitional governments are becoming common ingredients of peacemaking and peace building efforts. Power-sharing as a mode of conflict management in guarantees the participation of representatives of significant parties in political decision making in the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary. By dividing power among the rival groups during the transition, power sharing hypothetically reduces the danger that one party will become dominant and threaten the security of others. To discuss the concept of power- sharing, the study uses two models three models for the study. These are: the consociational model which sees communal groups as the building blocks of a political order based on elite consensus and group autonomy; the second model is the incentivist model which advocates the design of political institutions to provide incentives for elite and mass moderation. The third model is the tri-polar model which brings together the relevant attributes of the consociational and incentivist models, and highlights the need to broaden the scope of power-sharing to various spheres of governance such as territorial, economic, and political where groups may want to share power. Data was gathered by means of reviewing academic published books, journal articles and public documents on the subject for the relevant concepts and current opinions and policies. The study findings power-sharing in post conflict societies, may work well in stable democracies when political elites are moderate and willing to compromise. However, this is unlikely in countries exiting civil conflict, where leaders are uncooperative and where majority group leaders are under pressure to not concede to minorities. Thus as a a mode of managing conflict in Africa such as Kenya and Zimbabwe, it is a successful means of building up a government and end conflicts that may have cropped in as a result of a flawed electoral process. Power-sharing in post-conflict contexts are transitional arrangements, but could also become permanent features of governance architecture. However, power-sharing may be seen as rewarding bad political behavior and as mechanism in which the alternative scenario could be one of destructive violence. The danger is that power-sharing are negotiated democracy and could become the end in itself, rather than a means to an end.