Allison McCulloch


B.A. (Hons) (Laurentian) M.A., Ph.D (Queen’s)

Research Interests

My research considers the politics of ethnically divided societies, peace processes and democratization in post-conflict states. Broadly, I’m interested in the processes and institutions that facilitate democracy, security and stability in post-conflict settings, with a focus on power-sharing arrangements. Specifically, I am interested in how power-sharing governments handle political crises, the incentive structures for ethnopolitical moderation and extremism that power-sharing offers, and how power-sharing arrangements can be made more inclusive of identities beyond the ethnonational divide.

I am currently working on three long-term projects:

1) I am the principal investigator on a  SSHRC Insight Development Grant. With Joanne McEvoy (University of Aberdeen, Scotland), I am investigating the normative and instrumental reasons why third-party mediators turn to power-sharing strategies during peace negotiations. We focus on the role of external actors at two critical statebuilding moments: the negotiation stage that culminates in the adoption of an inclusive institutional package and the post-conflict implementation stage, when third parties find themselves re-engaged in the external governance of self-determination disputes.

2) Along with Siobhan Byrne (University of Alberta), I am the co-investigator on a research project titled Gender, Peace and Power-sharing Practices in Political Transitions, funded by a SSHRC Insight Grant. Drawing on new fieldwork interviews and research, we are developing a model of gender-inclusive power-sharing that brings together lessons of ethnopolitical power-sharing from archetypal cases like Northern Ireland and Bosnia-Herzegovina with new policies around the ‘women, peace, and security’ (WPS) agenda.

3) Along with Timofey Agarin (Queen’s University Belfast), I am the co-investigator on a 3-year ESRC grant titled Exclusion amid Inclusion: Power-Sharing and Non-Dominant Minorities. In this project, we examine power-sharing’s institutional bias in favour of large ethnic groups and its consequences for micro-minorities, realigned minorities, and non-ethnic groups in four divided societies: Northern Ireland, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Macedonia, and Lebanon.

I am the editor-in-chief of Nationalism and Ethnic Politics. The journal, which publishes four issues a year, explores the varied political aspects of nationalism and ethnicity in order to develop more constructive inter-group relations, and to address the sources of both contemporary and historical identity-based conflicts. See here for more information on the journal and how to submit a manuscript.

I am the vice-chair of Research Committee 14 on Politics and Ethnicity of the International Political Science Association. In this capacity, I am the co-convener of the Politics and Ethnicity section of the IPSA World Congress in Lisbon, Portugal, 25-29 July, 2020. I was also a member of the organizing committee for the  Joint IPSA Colloquium on Democratization and Constitutional Design in Divided Societies at the University of Cyprus, Nicosia, 23-27 June 2017 and  the Joint IPSA Colloquium on Diversity and Democratic Governance at the University of Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina, 12-15 June 2019.


Selected Publications


Power-Sharing and Political Stability in Deeply Divided Societies. Security and Governance Series. Routledge  (2014).

Power-Sharing: Empirical and Normative Challenges. Co-edited with John McGarry. Routledge Studies on Challenges, Crises and Dissent in World Politics. Routledge  (2017).
**Subject of a special symposium in the journal Ethnopolitics 

Journal Articles

“Veto Rights and Vital Interests: Formal and Informal Veto Rules for Minority Representation in Deeply Divided Societies.” with Aleksandra Zdeb. Representation (2020). OnlineFirst.

“Power-Sharing: A Gender Intervention.” International Political Science Review 41, 1 (2020): 44-57.

“Veto Power and Power-Sharing: Insights from Burundi (2000-2018).” with Stef Vandeginste. Democratization 26, 7 (2019): 1176-1193.

“‘Bumps in the Road Ahead’: How External Actors Defuse Power-Sharing Crises.” with Joanne McEvoy. Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding 13, 2 (2019): 216-235.

“The Use and Abuse of Veto Rights in Power-Sharing Systems: Northern Ireland in Comparative Perspective.” Government and Opposition 53, 4 (2018): 735-756.
**Recipient of the Elizabeth Meehan Prize for Best Article published in Government and Opposition in 2018

“Others in Deeply Divided Societies: A Research Agenda.” with Timofey Agarin and Cera Murtagh. Nationalism and Ethnic Politics 24, 3 (2018): 299-310.

“The International Mediation of Power-Sharing Settlements”. with Joanne McEvoy. Cooperation and Conflict 53, 4 (2018): 467-485.

“Is Power-Sharing Bad for Women?” with Siobhan Byrne. Nationalism and Ethnic Politics 24, 1 (2018): 1-12. (Special Issue, guest co-editor)

“Pathways from Power-Sharing.” Civil Wars 19, 4 (2017): 405-424. 

“Consociational Settlements in Deeply Divided Societies: The Corporate-Liberal Distinction,” Democratization 21, 3 (2014): 501-518.

“Does Moderation Pay? Centripetalism in Deeply Divided Societies,” Ethnopolitics, 12, 2 (2013): 111-132.

Teaching Areas

I teach broadly in the areas of  Comparative Politics and International Politics

In the Fall 2020 term, I am teaching: Comparative Politics (78.272) and Ethnic Conflict (78.378). I will be on sabbatical for the Winter 2021 semester.

Courses Taught