Consociational Democracy: Civic Participation within a Power Sharing structure

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For societies divided by ethnic conflict, the practicalities of achieving a functioning democratic polity are all the more difficult. Characterised by a political culture that does not favour compromise, the options for securing a more prosperous future are limited.

In order to change the conflict dynamics in these contexts, the concept of power sharing often presents itself as the most viable solution, where systems of governance attempt to incorporate all major segments of society, relieving tensions through consensus.

The implementation of power sharing models raises interesting questions about the resolution and management of conflicts. Indeed, is power sharing a tool for ending intractable conflict? Or is it simply a way of bringing it – and the different players involved – under control?

In this edition of the Resources for Democracy podcast, we talk to Chrystalla Yakinthou, Research Fellow at Birmingham University with an extensive research background in power sharing between communities in divided societies, particularly in Cyprus and Lebanon.

 

Supplementary Resources:

Democracy and Power-Sharing in Multi-National States

Complex Power Sharing as Conflict Resolution: South Tyrol in Comparative

Perspective1

Consociationalism (vid)

Seymour Martin Lipset Lecture: Ethnic Power-Sharing and Democracy  (vid)

Seymour Martin Lipset Lecture: Ethnic Power-Sharing and Democracy Part 2 (vid)

Seymour Martin Lipset Lecture: Ethnic Power-Sharing and Democracy Part 3 (vid)