Shared societies are generally defined as those in which multi-ethnic and multi-cultural communities co-exist. A more dynamic definition articulated by Coexistence International expresses shared societies as those in which ‘diversity is embraced’ and ‘interdependence between different groups is recognized’, where the ‘use of weapons to address conflicts is increasingly obsolete’ (HSSPM, 2011). There are many conceptual dimensions of co-existence, and unpacking these are beyond the scope of this chapter. What is certain is that the fault lines of divided societies are highly varied, and are both country- and context-specific. Generalizations therefore should be made cautiously. The conceptual models presented in this chapter should be treated as a ‘compass’ for interventionists, rather than a prescriptive ‘detailed map’ to be followed.
Region/Country (by coverage)