Sepe, Czar Alexei. “From Beirut to Belfast”, Boston College, 2021. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/bc-ir:109162.
To what extent do power-sharing arrangements increase or decrease ethnic tensions? This thesis sets to explore this question using Lebanon and Northern Ireland as comparative case studies. I use Pierre Nora’s lieux de mémoire scheme of historical memory to craft a theory of sites of social interaction (SSI). In addition, I outline three main strategies of social cohesion in power-sharing institutions. SSIs and cohesion strategies that increase tensions will cause power-sharing failure in the long run, and vice versa. I conclude that there is a causal link between power-sharing arrangements and ethnic tensions in divided societies, through the mechanisms of SSIs and cohesion strategies. Lebanon and Northern Ireland encode power-sharing with different sites of social interaction, as a reflection of a society’s composition, and different cohesion strategies, as a reflection of power-sharing design. Power-sharing implementation provides us with the missing link in our knowledge of power-sharing and ethnic tensions.