Power-sharing Executives in Northern Ireland and South Tyrol: Theories, Structures, Practices and Political Stability
This paper analyses the power-sharing governments of South Tyrol and Northern Ireland. After a first theoretical part, I will focus on the government and on the President of the Autonomous Province of Bolzano/Bozen and on First and the Deputy First Ministers and the executive of Northern Ireland, describing the institutions and their historical development. The final comparative part will refer to the political context in both areas to explain the causes of power-sharing executives’ (in)stability. In complex regional consociations, this is directly influenced by the nature of autonomy: where autonomy is fixed by constitutional and international norms, the executive will handle the shocks of the political system (as in South Tyrol); whereas, where autonomy can be de iure or de facto suspended and subjected to a partisan relationship with the centre (as in Northern Ireland), regional government will become instable.