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The Logics of Power-sharing, Consociation and Pluralist Federations

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Chapter Summary

Power-sharing, rightly, is a standard prescription for protracted national, ethnic and communal conflicts in deeply divided territories, especially ones focused on antagonistic self-determination claims. The division of power, and competition for power, are intelligent principles. Power-sharing commends the sharing of power as well as the division of power and the competition for power. It commends 'coalition' as a considered way of doing things, but not as a substitute for the division of power and competition for power. Power-sharers seek social contracts between two or more peoples, or between two or more territorial governments. The first of these possibilities leads to what are called 'consociational' directions; the second toward territorial or federative power-sharing. These two possibilities can be combined in complex forms, where the complexity refers both to their institutional formats and their contexts. This chapter focuses on the prerequisites for consociations and pluralist federations.

Keywords: competition of power; consociation; divided territories; division of power; federative power-sharing; pluralist federations; power-sharing; self-determination claims



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