How can democracy and social peace survive in societies divided by race, ethnicity, religion, region, language or ideology? The answer is: only when political elites share power through a package of measures known as “consociationalism”. Unfortunately, most of the political science knowledge is based on peaceful West European democracies. How relevant is their experience for countries coming out of a civil war, countries often plagued by an authoritarian past? This project examines how peace agreements have replaced the “amicable agreement” of traditional politics in recent cases of comprehensive power sharing after civil war: South Africa, Burundi, Bosnia- and -Herzegovina, Lebanon, and Northern Ireland. The aim is to find out what is different and how these differences matter for the prospects of post-conflict societies to achieve democracy and social peace.