Economic Power-sharing, Conflict Resolution and Development in Peace Negotiations and...


Author: Christine Bell

Summary and key recommendations:

This research report argues that there is a tension between the group accommodation ambitions of economic power-sharing, and economic reform focused on creating a broader social contract capable of delivering public goods. For peace and development, war economies and modes of controlling resources will have to be replaced by other forms of economic management and accountability. The challenge in peace negotiations is to persuade the parties to the conflict that they have something to gain from new economic arrangements, sufficient to persuading them to give up forms of privatised economic power, exercised on behalf of one group only. This report reviews when and how peace agreements achieve this, and provide for economic power-sharing, including sharing of access to and revenue from natural resources at the heart of the conflict.

Key recommendations:

  • Conflict analysis should specifically address the relationship between economic resources and conflict.
  • International supporters of peace processes should have sufficient organizational capacity to ensure joint economic-conflict management approaches.
  • Mediation support aimed at helping re-frame economic power-sharing debates and peace agreement design in ways which help manage the tension between the political drivers of economic power-sharing design, and the need for functional and accountable economic institutions.
  • Anticipating implementation risks, and mitigating where possible.