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DEFINITION pow.er.share v. To govern jointly, often with your enemies

CONTEXT Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams, leaders of Northern Ireland’s most hard-line Protestant and Roman Catholic parties, sat side by side for the first time ever and agreed to forge a joint platform for government.

USAGE Though powersharing ended civil wars in El Salvador and South Africa, broken pacts caused civil wars in places like Angola, Lebanon and Sierra Leone. In Palestine, Hamas and Fatah are trying to work together, but can the tactic stabilize Iraq? Perhaps. Don’t forget: it took Northern Ireland some 40 years from the start of its Troubles to come even this far.

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