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Inclusion, Dispersion, and Constraint: Powersharing in the World’s States, 1975–2010

  • Kaare W. Strøm, Scott Gates, Benjamin A.T. Graham and Håvard Strand

Arrangements for sharing political power serve three purposes: to give all relevant groups access to important political decisions; to partition the policy process, thereby granting groups relevant autonomy; and to constrain holders of political power from abusing authority. A new global dataset of political power sharing institutions, 1975–2010, is introduced here, disaggregated these along three institutional dimensions: inclusive, dispersive, and constraining. Existing literature associates power sharing with democracy and civil conflict resolution. Unlike the existing literature, this dataset shows inclusive institutions are common in post-conflict states, though least strongly associated with electoral democracy. Conversely, constraining institutions, though comparatively rare in states with current or recent civil conflicts, are highly correlated with electoral democracy.

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UC San Diego and University of Oslo (email:; Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) and University of Oslo (email:; University of Southern California (email:; PRIO and University of Oslo (email: The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the National Science Foundation (Grant No. SES-081950766b; PI: Strøm) and the Norwegian Research Council (196850/F10; PI: Gates). Data replication sets are available at

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British Journal of Political Science
  • ISSN: 0007-1234
  • EISSN: 1469-2112
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