Hannes Mueller, Dominic Rohner, 22 January 2018

Power sharing has been proposed as a potential solution to political violence in ethnically or religiously diverse countries. Using data from the Troubles in Northern Ireland, this column shows that power sharing has significant and substantial effects in terms of curbing violence. These positive effects disappear when power sharing ends, however, implying that that political cooperation and inclusion need to be maintained in the long run if the benefits of lower violence are to continue.

Enrico Spolaore, Romain Wacziarg, 07 July 2009

Can trade and democracy promote peace or is armed conflict deeply rooted in cultural, ethnic, and religious differences? This column introduces a novel way to estimate the direct effect of long-term relatedness on the risk of international conflict and finds that, while democracies and open economies are less conflict-prone, the risk of conflict is actually greater among more closely related populations.

Mirre Stallen, Richard Ridderinkhof, Frans van Winden, 13 October 2008

Ethnically diverse groups are less successful in providing public goods. This column suggests that affective interpersonal relationships may be a critical component in cooperative behaviour and outlines the evidence – from brain scans to experimental games – of their importance.

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