|Abstract or Summary
- A growing concern among the international community is that civil war has become the most common form of armed conflict worldwide. To prevent further bloodshed, more research is urgently needed to understand the causes of conflict and most successful strategies for peace. The bargaining theory of war proposes that former warring parties defect from peace processes as a means of self-preservation in the face of security threats and uncertainty. But which institutional arrangements are most effective in mitigating these conditions and facilitating peace? Increasingly, these theorists and conflict negotiators alike are proposing that power-sharing, arrangements within peace agreements that guarantee all factions a share of government power, is the answer. Indeed, power-sharing has become one of the most popular instruments for ending wars today. Nevertheless, its effectiveness is hotly debated. Consequently, one of the foremost questions within the civil war literature is: does power-sharing contribute to lasting peace and if so, under what conditions? To answer this question, this paper makes use of a new data set of 195 peace agreements signed between 1975 and 2008 that aimed to settle 53 civil conflicts in 44 countries. I find that political power-sharing largely decreases the risk of war relapse, military power-sharing mitigates conflict under certain conditions, and territorial power-sharing does not significantly affect peace outcomes. Thus, power-sharing is an important tool for ending war, however, other arrangements, such as disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of soldiers, amnesty, elections, and comprehensive agreements are more critical to establishing long-term peace.