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By Sujit Choudhry

How should still constitutional layout reply to the possibilities and demanding situations raised through ethnic, linguistic, spiritual, and cultural variations, and accomplish that in ways in which advertise democracy, social justice, peace and balance? this can be the most tough questions dealing with societies on the earth this day.

There are colleges of inspiration on the way to solution this question. less than the heading of "accommodation", a few have argued for the necessity to realize, institutionalize and empower modifications. there are a number of constitutional tools to be had to accomplish this aim, similar to multinational federalism and administrative decentralization, felony pluralism (e.g. non secular own law), other kinds of non-territorial minority rights (e.g. minority language and spiritual schooling rights), consociationalism, affirmative motion, legislative quotas, and so forth. yet others have countered that such practices might entrench, perpetuate and exacerbate the very divisions they're designed to control. They suggest a variety of substitute recommendations that fall lower than the rubric of "integration" that may blur, go beyond and cross-cut changes. Such techniques contain accounts of rights enshrining common human rights enforced through judicial overview, guidelines of disestablishment (religious and ethnocultural), federalism and electoral platforms designed particularly to incorporate participants of other teams in the comparable political unit and to disperse contributors of an identical staff throughout various devices, are a few examples.

In this quantity, top students of constitutional legislations, comparative politics and political concept handle the talk at a conceptual point, in addition to via a number of state case-studies, via an interdisciplinary lens, yet with a felony and institutional focus.

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Extra resources for Constitutional Design for Divided Societies: Integration or Accommodation?

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Pointing to “the current civil war, and recent election and referendum results”, McGarry and O’Leary conclude “that Iraq is deeply divided, with a divided past”, and that “these divisions cannot be overcome easily in the near future”. Their chapter on Northern Ireland (“Consociation and its critics: Northern Ireland after the Belfast Agreement”) likewise treats the static or dynamic nature of politically mobilized ethnic identities as the fundamental issue on which constitutional design depends.

Horowitz envisions pre-electoral, interethnic coalitions of parties who would enter into reciprocal arrangements to exchange the votes of supporters in different constituencies. Indeed, there could conceivably be competing interethnic coalitions. Yet voters themselves would play a much more important role in moderating ethnic conflict than they would under consociation, where party leaders are the most important actors. The net result is to create a second best for pluralist politics in divided societies, by designing electoral incentives to encourage crossethnic political appeals that are a substitute for crosscutting cleavages.

Liberal integrationists support federalism, not in order to accommodate minority nationalism, but in order to protect liberty and expand the opportunities for democratic citizenship. Similarly, McGarry, O’Leary, and Simeon differentiate among four varieties of accommodation: Centripetalism, multiculturalism, consociation, and territorial pluralism. However, upon closer examination, it is apparent that these categories overlap to a considerable extent. The clearest contrast is between centripetalism and consociation, with Horowitz and Lijphart offered as the leading examples.

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