Political marginalization of “Others” in consociational regimes


2018. Zeitschrift für Vergleichende Politikwissenschaft | Comparative Governance and Politics. PDF

Nenad Stojanović


Polities that follow the consociational model of democracy adopt powersharing

provisions, guaranteeing a certain number of seats to representatives of

their societies’ main ethnic groups. Yet in all hardcore (“corporate”) consociational

systems—Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Lebanon, Northern Ireland,

and South Tyrol—we also find “Others”: citizens who do not belong to any of the

main ethnic segments. These Others are typically subjected to patterns of political

marginalisation and exclusion that are problematic for a liberal democracy. In some

cases, such patterns have been deemed discriminatory by courts, most notably in

several rulings of the European Court of Human Rights concerning the position of

Others in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This article provides a conceptual framework for

identifying Others in consociational systems and presents the first comprehensive

overview of the legal and political status of Others in the six corporate consociations.

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