Independent Commissions and Peace Settlements

  • Dawn WalshEmail author
Living reference work entry



How do independent commissions operate in post-conflict societies? Commissions, which possess and exercise some specialized public authority but are neither directly elected nor directly managed by elected officials, are crucial elements of peace settlements as they are mandated to carry out vital tasks including monitoring ceasefires or overseeing elections (see chapter “ Post-conflict Elections”). The successful completion of such tasks is vital to the sustainability of peace accords. The use of independent commissions is not restricted to post-conflict contexts; rather they have been an increasing popular tool of governance in North America and across Europe. Such bodies
  1. (a)

    Possess and exercise some grant of specialized public authority, separate from that of other institutions.

  2. (b)

    Are neither directly elected by the people nor directly managed by elected officials. They exclude state...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Bekoe, D. (2003). Towards a theory of peace agreement implementation: The case of Liberia. Journal of Asian and African Studies, 38(2–3), 256–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Binder, M. (2015). Paths to intervention: What explains the UN’s selective response to humanitarian crises? Journal of Peace Research, 52(6), 712–726.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Hampson, F. (1997). Can peace building work? Cornell International Law Journal, 30(3), 701–716.Google Scholar
  4. Lijphart, A. (2004). Constitutional design for divided societies. Journal of Democracy, 15(2), 96–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Majone, G. (2001). Nonmajoritarian institutions and the limits of democratic governance: A political transaction-cost approach. Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, 157, 57–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Roeder, P. (2005). Power dividing as an alternative to ethnic power sharing. In P. Roeder & D. Rothchild (Eds.), Sustainable peace, power and democracy after civil wars (pp. 51–82). London: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Roeder, P., & Rothchild, D. (Eds.). (2005). Sustainable peace: Power and democracy after civil wars. London: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Thatcher, M., & Sweet, A. (2002). Theory and practice of delegation to non-majoritarian institutions. West European Politics, 25(1), 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Walsh, D. (2015). Northern Ireland and the independent parades commission: Delegation and legitimacy. Irish Political Studies, 30(1), 20–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Walsh, D. (2016). Human needs theory as a basis for the use of consociationalism: The Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland. Ethnopolitics, 15(3), 285–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Walter, B. (1999). Designing transitions from civil war: Demobilization, democratization and commitments to peace. International Security, 24(1), 127–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University College DublinDublinIreland

Section editors and affiliations

  • Maria-Adriana Deiana
    • 1
  1. 1.Queen's University BelfastBelfastUK