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HomeGlobal Perspective & Critical ResearchMinority Vetoes in Consociational Legislatures: Ultimately Weaponized?

Minority Vetoes in Consociational Legislatures: Ultimately Weaponized?

Author: Devin Haymond

Affiliation: Juris Doctor Candidate, Indiana University Maurer School of Law 

Organization/Publisher: Indiana Journal of Constitutional Design

Date/Place: May 11, 2020

Type: Journal Article 

Page Count: 27 


Key words: Consociationalism; Federalism; Minority Veto; Plural Societies.


This paper promotes Lijphart’s theorization of consociationalism by examining the minority veto mechanisms of Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, and Northern Ireland. It argues that the formal minority veto right is a key consociational effort towards stability in conflictual plural societies. For minority veto rights not to be weaponized, this study recommends the implementation of a proportional representation, decentralization with autonomy given to groups, and federalism as the primary concern. To ensure that veto power is used for vital interests and to restrain the abuse of the minority veto for purely political purposes, limiting the areas of veto invocation is a useful tool. In addition, the inclusion of justificatory clauses in the body of veto right increases the intergroup understanding and communications. The minority veto rights should be determined inclusively where the rights of ethnic, linguistic, or religious minority groups are at stake which are not the primary actors in the power sharing process. 


By: Abdullah Jurat, CIGA Senior Research Associate



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