Department or Program



This thesis explores factors conducive to successful settlements within communal civil wars. Through a comparative analysis of the Sunningdale Power-sharing Agreement and Good Friday Power-sharing Agreement in Northern Ireland, it enters a vast literature surrounding both the case study as well as the theoretical underpinnings of successful peace settlements. This thesis identifies five potential factors contributing to the success of a peace settlement: a third party guarantor, inequality reducing measures, power-sharing measures, influence of local actors, and the nature of the conflict itself. Each of these factors is attached to specific indicators that are then cross-analyzed against public opinion data and trends of violence. This analysis is conducted in a four-phased approach: during the negotiations to get to the table, during the settlement negotiations, during the implementation, and during the aftermath of the settlement. This thesis posits that complete power-sharing creates a moderated culture that allows non-sectarian power blocks to develop and challenge communally exclusive blocks, so long as they are given a political space to develop. Contrary to arguments that suggest that power-sharing confines countries to ethnic exclusivity, this thesis explores whether it can in fact create a political space where those divisions may be broken down.

Level of Access

Open Access

First Advisor

Aslan, Senem

Date of Graduation

Summer 5-2015

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

1 PDF file

Open Access

Available to all.