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HomeGlobal Perspective & Critical ResearchReform of consociationalism arrangements in deeply divided societies

Reform of consociationalism arrangements in deeply divided societies

Author: Brigitte Rohwerder

Affiliation: Institute of Development Studies

Organization/Publisher: The K4D helpdesk service

Date/Place: January 2020/ UK

Type of Literature: Report

Number of Pages: 16


Keywords: Power-sharing, Liberal consociationalism, Corporate consociationalism, Democratic transition


This report was prepared for the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) and its partners in support of pro-poor programmes. Research Officer Brigitte Rohwerder outlines the reforms and democratic transition of consociational-arrangement peace agreements in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lebanon, and Burundi. The second part of the report is extensively based on the legal pathways away from consociationalism and institutional transitions identified by Allison McCulloch (2017). Excluding the collapse of power-sharing arrangements, the addressed legal pathways are threefold: (a) power-sharing dissolution via politically initiated constitutional reforms, i.e., Northern Ireland; (b) Power-sharing dissolution via judicial interventions, i.e., Bosnia and Herzegovina, and (c) Power-sharing adoption on an interim basis, i.e., Lebanon. The author highlights some key arguments from McCulloch that advocate for liberal consociationalism over corporate. A particular emphasis is the role of the international community (external actors) for the consociational transition in these countries. 

By: Abdullah Jurat, CIGA Senior Research Associate



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