Abstract: The diplomatic history of the last 30 years is replete with broken-down peace processes where elite pacts have fallen apart due to their inability to secure sufficient support at the grassroots level. This is suggestive of a dual problem of adoption and adaptation, that is, the contention that because majorities and minorities will bring divergent institutional preferences to any negotiation on the contours of the state, they will be unable to reach an enduring institutional settlement in the first instance and will be unable to revise and reform such arrangements over time. Determining the sticking points between parties as well as the capacity of elites to negotiate agreements that can be convincingly communicated to the wider community is key to overcoming the ‘adoption and adaption’ problem.
This panel seeks to explore the conditions under which power-sharing comes to be seen an acceptable arrangement for resolving collective disputes, the role of domestic and international actors in the search for agreement, as well as the impact that citizens can have on the negotiation, design, and reform of power-sharing settlements. Particular attention will be devoted to three key elements:
• the process by which settlement are negotiated and agreed;
• the content of the agreement, particularly in relation to institutional design; and
• the process by which power-sharing reforms are discussed and negotiated, including the interaction among citizens and elites.
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