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 2-year SSHRC Insight Development Grant (2016-18). 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 (2014-18). 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 (2017-2020) 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 also the vice-chair of Research Committee 14 on Politics and Ethnicity of the International Political Science Association. In this capacity, I was the co-convener of the Politics and Ethnicity section of the IPSA World Congress in Brisbane, Australia, 21-25 July 2018 and co-convener of the  Joint IPSA Colloquium on Democratization and Constitutional Design in Divided Societies at the University of Cyprus, Nicosia, 23-27 June 2017. I am currently co-convener of the Joint IPSA Colloquium on Diversity and Democratic Governance at the University of Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina, 12-15 June 2019. See Call for Papers here.

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).

Articles and Chapters

“‘Bumps in the Road Ahead’: How External Actors Defuse Power-Sharing Crises.” with Joanne McEvoy. Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding (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 (2018).

“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. 

“Gendering Power-Sharing.” with Siobhan Byrne. In: Power-Sharing: Empirical and Normative Challenges, eds. Allison McCulloch and John McGarry. (Routledge, 2017).

“Contemporary Challenges to Power-Sharing Theory and Practice.” In: Power-Sharing: Empirical and Normative Challenges, eds. Allison McCulloch and John McGarry. (Routledge, 2017).

“The Use and Abuse of Veto Rights in Power-Sharing Systems: Northern Ireland in Comparative Perspective.” Government and Opposition. (2017).

“On the Brink: A Year of Power-Sharing Crises.” E-International Relations. January 2016.

“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.

“The Track Record of Centripetalism in Deeply Divided Places,” in Power-Sharing in Deeply Divided Places, Brendan O’Leary and Joanne McEvoy, eds., University of Pennsylvania Press (2013).

“Gender, Representation, and Power-Sharing in Post-Conflict Institutions,” with Siobhan Byrne, International Peacekeeping 19, 5 (2012): 565-580.

“Deliberative Consociationalism in Deeply Divided Societies,” with Anna Drake, Contemporary Political Theory 10, 3 (2011): 372-392.

Teaching Areas

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

In the Fall 2018 term, I am teaching: Comparative Politics (78.272) and Peace and Conflict Transformation (78.383). 

In the Winter 2018 term, I am teaching International Law (78.382) and Issues in Comparative Politics (78.452).

Courses Taught