Power Sharing- Consociational vs. Integrative

Power Sharing- Consociational vs. Integrative - The Views...

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Unformatted text preview: The Views expressed in this book are those of the author alone. They do not necessarily reflect views of the Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict or of the United States Institute of Peace. United States Institute of Peace 1550 M Street NW, Suite 700 Washington, DC 2 0005 — l 708 Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict 2400 N Street V W, Sixth Floor Vi’ashington, DC 2003 7—1 1 53 ©1996 by Carnegie Corporation of New York. All rights reserved. Firstpublished 1996 Third printing 1999 Printed in the United States of America The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of American National Standard for Information Sciences—Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI 23948—1984. Library of Congress Cataloging—in—Pubiication Data Sisk, Timothy D., 1960— Power sharing and international mediation in ethnic conflicts / Timothy D. Sisk. p. cm. — (Perspectives series) Includes bibliographical references. ISBN 1-87837956—9 1. Ethnic groupsuPolitical activity. 2. NimoriticsmPolitical activity. 3. Democracy. 4. Representative government and representation. 1. Title. II. Series. JFl,061.SS7 1996 322.4’4’08693—dc20 96—8127 CIP .wmmmWMWMWWWWtmmm»,.,._M.M...,.WMMWWW MW Power Sharing and International Mediation in Ethnic Conflicts TIMOTHY D. SISK CARNEGIJE COMMISSION ON PREVENTING DEA’DLY CONFLICT CARNEGIE CORPORATION OF NEW YORK ‘ United States Institute of Peace (E Washington, DC. 3 Democracy and Its Alternatives in Deeply Divided Societies More often than not, conflict has been managed in divided societies through authoritarian domination of a group or groups over others. The approach is usually an exclusive one, in which minority (or sometimes, majority) communities are not provided the opportunity to directly or indirectly influence decisions made for the society as a whole. The approach may be revolutionary, attempting to remove the minority or majority factor from political life through forced assimilation (as Bulgaria recently sought to do with its Turkish minority) or genocidal. Other strategies that fall in the hegemonic approach include subjugation, isolation, avoidance, and displace— ment of ethnic groups (Rothchild and Olurunsola 1986:24fk41).1 Countless tyrannies have resorted to such measures, either singu- larly or in combination. In Thailand, Burma, and the Philippines, military rule has at times served, as Horowitz (1993:27) argues, as a mask for ethnic dominance. Although. subjugation and dominance are more common in prac— tice, and non—Western examples of the democratic management of conflict in divided societies are few, there are instances of reiativeiy successful ethnic conflict management within autocratic systems. Milton Esman notes that “historically some polities have succeeded rather well in managing ethnic cleavages by methods that include power—sharing methods. The autocratic Ottoman Empire governed for half a millennium. Under the ‘millet’ system it guaranteed a iarge 27 28 DEMOCRACY AND I T5 ALTERNATIVES measure of autonomy (self—determination and self~management) to its non—Muslim communities.”2 In India under British Colonial rule, power—sharing practices such as communal electoral rolls and reserved legislative seats were instituted. Of particular interest is the 1916 Lucknow Pact between the Indian National Congress and the Muslim League, which established under the overall suzerainty of the British Raj a system of Hindu—Muslim power sharing that helped mitigate communal conflict for several years before it broke down under the weight of communal violence (VVolpert 1992:294—309). In a different manner, in some postcolonial African regimes an informal balancing act by autocratic regimes resulted in roughly proportional allocation of power and resources to ethnic groups. Rothchild terms these “hegemonic exchange” regimes (1986, 1995).3 According to Rothchild, many one—party or no-party African states in the postcolonial era, such as Tanzania, Zambia, Kenya, Ivory Coast, and Cameroon, belong to this category (1995 :5 9).4 In short, in many multiethnic states democracy is absent, but gov~ ernments perform an implicit or even explicit informal balancing act, careful to include members of key ethnic groups at high levels in central governments and to distribute resources in a balanced manner, but tightlycontrolling democratic freedoms. For example, Singapore and Indonesia have arguably managed to balance compet— ing ethnic claims, but these are certainly not liberal, democracies. Within consensual, noncoercive approaches to ethnic conflict management there are but two broad options: partition or democ— racy. Partition, which is rare and even more rarely peaceful, is in Lijphart’s terms a “solution of the last resort” (1985 :34).5 The break— up of the Czechoslovak federation in 1992 on reasonably amicable terms supports the View that partition is an option within the non- coercive framework, even though other examples of state breakup—— such as Eritrea or the former Yugoslavia—usually result from hard— won military victories or precipitate protracted civil war among the conflicting parties (as in Sudan, Sri Lanka, or more recently in the Russian republic of Chechnya). Partition is a viable option in deeply divided societies when ethnic groups are homogeneously concen— trated in territory, when the new states themselves do not include DEMOCRACY AND I T5 ALTERNATIVES 29 significant minorities themselves, and when the rump state is willing to allow the secession to occur—~conditions that are rarely met. I return to the issue of separation versus sharing in chapter 6. If peaceful partition is an unlikely and highly unusual outcome in divided societies, and authoritarian methods are (normative concerns aside) at best a short-term solution to the management of ethnic conflicts, multiethnic societies need democracy by default. Yet the conventional wisdom, articulated by democrats such as John Stuart Mill in 1861, is that a “united public opinion” is necessary for democracy, and for that reason democracy is ill suited to multiethnic societies ([1861] 195 8:230). That is, most multiethnic societies lack the political culture—defined as prerequisite values—{hat engender democracy.6 Esman writes: Critics of democracy assert that open competitive politics facilitate the politicization of ethnic communities and the consequent danger of interethnic extremism and violent destabilization of the political order. They maintain that authoritarian methods and a strong state are needed to restrain ethnic politics in divided and conflict~prone societies. This notion is a frequent justification for military rule and for one-party regimes in ethnically plural societies, including Tito’s rule in Yugoslavia, the KANU [Kenyan African National Union] dic— tatorship in Kenya, and the Suharto—New Order government in Indonesia [1994:41]. When thoughtful analysts have looked at the challenges created by the patterns of politics in deeply divided societies, outlined above, it is no surprise that they have come to the conclusion rhetorically framed by Rabushka and Shepsle: “Is the resolution of intense but conflicting preferences in the [deeply divided] society manageable in a democratic framework? We think not” (1972 :2 1 7). No analyst argues that politics in deeply divided societies facilitates democracy or that conditions for it are favorable in the vast majority of today’s multiethnic societies. What drives analysts to consider democratic practices in situations of deep ethnic conflict is the belief that there are no viable alternatives to democracy as a system of just and stable conflict management. Lijphart (1977a:277) writes: “Not only have non—democratic regimes failed to be good nation ~builders; 30 DEMOCRACY AND ITS ALTERNATIVES they have not even established good records of maintaining order and peace in plural societies.” Where ethnic tensions have been successfully managed, the regime is open and respectful of human rights and features a partic— ipatory civil society, universal suffrage, free and fair elections, and a modicum of fairness in the distribution of economic resources. In addition, patterns of reciprocal interactions among competing eth- nic groups are institutionalized through the widely accepted and consensually framed rules of the political game. Stated differently, when the state stands above ethnic conflicts and mediates them, employing democratic institutions and practices, differences among communities can be worked out in parliament rather than on the streets. The telltale sign of successful conflict management in mul- tiethnic societies is widespread commitment to the mediation of dis— putes through the democratic rules of the game.7 Problems of Majoritarian Democracy At least one hallmark of a democratic system is the Willingness of the principal interests in society to accept the inherently uncertain con- sequences of the electoral game. The electoral arena in a democracy is the most important element of politics, because it is the primary forum of intergroup competition. It is in the halls of parliament, not in the streets, that individuals and groups in multiethnic societies are expected to arbitrate their differences. Robert Dahl describes the importance of mutual security as a prerequisite to electoral com— petition and the need for minimum level of the protection of basic interests (or rights) so that defeat at the ballot box will not jeopar— dize physical survival (1973). Clearly, the Algerian military leadership perceived a threat to its power, and potentially to physical survival, when in January 1992 it stepped in to cancel the second round of balloting that would in all probability have led to an absolute parliamentary majority for the Islamist Front for Islamic Salvation (F IS). Although the principal difference in Algeria is not between ethnic groups but between opinions on the desirability of an Islamic state, this case highlights DEMOCRACY AND ITS ALTERNATIVES 3 7 the principal problem with democracy in instances where social divisions on ethnic or religious lines run deep. Absent Dahl’s pre— requisite of mutual security, elections are perceived by groups in conflict as a zero—sum game; it is a winner—take—all contest. Often, an election is perceived as an opportune moment for politicians to manipulate ethnicity in order to retain power, as in Kenya and Ghana in recent years. In many divided societies, electoral competition is a contest for ownership of the state. Nlinorities, particularly, equate democracy not with freedom or participation but with the structured domi- nance of adversarial majority groups. Permanent minorities such as Tamils in Sri Lanka, Catholics in Northern Ireland, and whites in South Africa have feared the consequences of electoral competition, especially when the expected consequence of majority victory is dis— crimination against them. For minority groups, losing an election is a matter of not simply losing office but of losing the means for pro— tecting the survival of the group. In other types of voting, governments do not countenance plebi— scites or referenda on secessionist claims because they fear the conse— quences of determining the popular will by simple majority rule. The government of India has not allowed the implementation of the UN General Assembly resolutions of 1947 promising a plebiscite on the territorial dispensation of Kashmir because of the likelihood that a majority of Muslims would opt for accession to Pakistan or, more recently, independence. The primary trigger in the onset of the war in Bosnia was the move in February 1992 by the predominantly Muslim and Croat government to hold a referendum on indepen— dence from the former Yugoslavia, the outcome of which would have been determined by simple majority rule; the referendum was boy— cotted by the Bosnian Serbs. Moreover, as Herbert Okun notes, “the referendum was held in breach of the constitution of Bosnia and Hercegovina, which required that major decisions of this nature were to be decided on the basis of consensus among the three ‘constituent peoples’ (Bosnian Muslims, Bosnian serbs, Bosnian Croats).”8 The problem is that ethnic groups in conflict all too often associ— ate elections and referenda, and democracy in general, with the 32 DEMOCRACY AND ITS ALTERNATIVES principle of simple majority rule. Majoritarian democracy is typified by the Westminster system of small single—member districts with first-past—the—post (plurality) electoral rules; the party (or parties, in coalition governments) with a majority of the seats forms the gov— ernment while other parties remain in loyal opposition. Analytically, there are three problems with simple majoritarian democracy in divided societies: the possibility of permanent exclusion of minority group—based political parties, the lack of “floating” voters whose preferences are formed on other—than—ascriptive criteria such as class,9 and the pervasiveness of radical outbidding on divisive ethnic issues. Although simple majority rule may be fairest from a theoret— ical point of view (Rae 1969), the scholarly consensus recognizes the principle’s limitations in divided societies.10 (Horowitz [1993:30] also demonstrates how a procedurally free and fair election can lead to equally exclusive minority rule.) Advocates of power sharing in divided societies agree on the dan— gers of majoritarianism, citing the potential distortions in vote—to— seat outcomes, the inability of geographically dispersed minority parties to achieve representation, and—in the context of an ethnic party system—~the likelihood that a single ethnic group or coalition of ethnic groups will govern exclusively and to the detriment of others.11 Lijphart, the most indefatigable critic of majoritarian and plurality electoral rules for divided societies (and indeed for other democracies), identifies the core problem when he refers to the potential for “majority dictatorship” (1985: 102). Horowitz concurs, aruging in his seminal work, Ethnic Groups in Conflict, that under conditions of simple majority rule, “Ethnic parties developed, majorities took power, and minorities took shelter. It was a fearful situation, in which the prospect of minority exclusion from govern- ment underpinned by ethnic voting, was potentially permanent. . . . Civil violence, military coups, and the advent of single party regimes can all be traced to this problem of inclusion—exclusion” (1985 :629). Simply put, simple majority rule results in minimum winning coalitions that tend to exclude a significant minority; when minority preferences are intense and there is little chance of the minority becoming a majority, a recipe for conflict exists. Simple majoritari— DEMOCRACY AND I T5 ALTERNATIVES 33 anism in a deeply divided society leads to zero—sum politics (Welsh 1993). The Westminster system of government—and-opposition, transplanted into many societies that were once part of the British empire, assumes that the opposition will be loyal and that the oppor— tunity for alternation in winning coalitions is real. Without an assur— ance that the electoral system will not lead to permanent exclusion, why should a minority group that perceives a threatening environment be willing to accept the inherent risks of electoral competition? Rejection of majoritarian democracy does not mean a rejection of democratic values. What distinguishes advocates of majoritarianism from advocates of coalescent democracy, or power sharing, is belief in the prospects for “political engineering” (Sartori 1968) to n'iitigate conflicts in divided societies. That is, the rules of the political game can be structured to institutionalize moderation on divisive ethnic themes, to contain the (destructive tendencies, and to preempt the centrifugal thrust created by ethnic politics. There is no assertion that deft political engineering can prevent or eradicate deep enmi- ties, but appropriate institutions can nudge the political system in the direction of reduced conflict and greater governmental account— ability. The comrnon assumption is that choices over the basic rules of the game affect its outcomes. Horowitz writes, “Where there is some determination to play by the rules, the rules can restructure the system so the game itself changes” (1985 :601). The essence of power sharing is not to do away with democratic competition but to contain it within acceptable boundaries so that differences of opinion along ethnic lines do not ineluctably lead to intergroup violence. The central question of political engineering is this: in deeply divided societies, which kinds of institutions and practices create an incentive structure for ethnic groups to mediate their differences through the legitimate institutions of a common democratic state? Alternatively, how can the incentive system be structured to reward and reinforce political leaders who moderate on divisive ethnic themes and to persuade citizens to support moderation, bargaining, and reciprocity among ethnic groups? As highlighted in chapter 1, there are two distinct approaches to constructing conflict—ameliorating democratic institutions in deeply 34 DEMOCRACY AND I 75 ALTERNATIVES divided societies: the consociational model most associated with Lijphart (1968, 1969, 1977a, 1977b, 1985) and what I term the inte— grative approach associated with Horowitz (1985, 1990a, 1990b, 1991, 1993). These approaches are summarized in table 1. Although dichotomizing these approaches may be a too—simplistic description of their advocates’ views, I do so here to highlight the differences. The former approach places greater faith in assurances for minority group protection, whereas the latter places greater emphasis on the role of incentives in encouraging interethnic co—operation. What unites them is the belief in coalescent democracy as an alternative to the adverse effects of majoritarianism and the assumptions that sup» port arejection of majoritarian practices. “Coalescent” decision making is argued to be a better prescription for the ills that plague deeply divided societies than the adversarial pattern associated with majoritarian democracy. 12 Power Sharing: The Consociational Approach Consociationalism, above all, relies on elite cooperation as the princi— pal characteristic of successful conflict management in deeply divided societies.13 Consociationalists suggest that even if there are deep communal differences, overarching integrative elite coopera~ tion is a necessary and sufficient condition to assuage conflict. Eric Nordlinger (1972:73) goes so far as to argue that elites “alone can initiate, work out and implement conflict—regulating practices, therefore they alone can make direct and positive contributions to conflict—regulating outcomes.” In the consociational approach, elites, or conflict group leaders, directly represent various societal segments and act to forge political ties at the center. This is the case in many of the consociational democracies—Belgium, the N ether— lands, Switzerland, Malaysia (1955——1969), Lebanon (1943—1975)“ that these theorists have considered successful experiences.1dr Advo— cates of consociationalism find the notion of nation building, or integrative approaches, a dubious proposition, citing the salience and rigidity of ethnic identity. To create a sense of common destiny when there is none entails both the breakdown of group loyalties to encourage alternative social alignments, managed distribution of resources. terns, president elected by “supermajority.” moderation—“coalitions of commitment.” Lack of Whole—country empirical examples of working systems; assumption that poli— ticians respond to incentives and citizens will vote for parties not based on their Provides politicians with incentives for own group. Federalism, vote pooling, electoral sys— motion of intraethnic competition, induce— ments for interethnic cooperation, policies before elections, creating broadly inclu— Dispersion and devolution of power, pro— Parties encouraged to create coalitions sive but majoritarian governments. Integrative Broad—based or “grand” coalitions, minority veto, proportionality in allocation of civil reservation of seats, proportional represen— tation electoral system. it; communal groups may not defer to their leaders; system relies on contraints against multiethnic coalitions and manage conflict; immoderate politics. groups are autonomous; minorities are protected. service positions and public funds, group autonomy. “Coalitions of convenience.” Elites may Parliamentary government, proportional Provides groups firm guarantees for the pursue conflict rather than try to reduce Elites cooperate after elections to form protection of their interests. Consociational Table 1. Approaches to Power Sharing Institutions and practices to promote these principles and effects Strengths of the approach Characteristics Principles Weaknesses 36 DEMOCRACY AND ITS ALTERNATIVES and the creation of new ones, a Herculean task unlikely to be achieved in most instances. According to Lijphart, consociationalism relies on four basic prin» ciples: a broad—based or “grand” coalition executive; minority veto; proportionality in the allocation of civil service positions and public funds; and group autonomy. Lijphart argues persistently that the institutions that give life to these principles must be specially adapted to the society they are to serve, and they cannot be imple— mented and expected to work singularly. Lijphart also identifies a number of conditions that are favorable to the successful operation of consociational democracy: popular deference to elites, “a multiple balance of power, small size of the country involved, overarching loyalties, segmental isolation, prior traditions of elite accommoda— tion, and——although much more weakly and ambiguouslymthe pres— ence of cross—cutting cleavages” (1977az54). Lijphart’s four basic principles are fleshed out a bit here: 1. Broad~laased parliamentary coalitions. Power sharing in the exec— utive in a grand coalition, or a variant thereof, ensures that the minority is not permanently excluded from political power.” Parliamentary systems are arguedto be more conducive to the creation of inclusive governing coalitions. In grand coalitions, political elitesfirepresenting the various segments of society—— thrash out their differences in an effort to reach consensus, but public contestation among them is limited. The common denominator and the most important feature is that decision making takes place consensually at the top among elites repre— senting underlying social segments (Lijphart 197 7az3 1—3 6). 2. Minority or mutual veto. The second feature of consociati onalism is the mutual or minority veto, through which each segment is given “a guarantee that it will not be outvoted by the maiority when its vital interests are at stake” (Lijphart 1977b:118). Through the mutual veto, the majority’s ability to rule is qual— ified by “negative minority rule” (Lijphart 1977a:36). The minority veto is at the heart of the concrete assurances of consociationalism. The veto provides an ironclad guarantee of DEMOCRACY AND I TS ALTERNATIVES 37 political protection to each segment on issues related to its vital interests. While the minority veto gives minorities the right to prevent action by others on the most sensitive issues, such as language, cultural rights, or education rights, it also serves a more important overriding goal. Like the Calhounian “concurrent majority,” it invests each segment with the power of protecting itself (Lijphart 1977a23 7). 3. Proportionaliy In every sphere of political life, the principle of proportionality lies behind consociational practices. Propor— tionality is introduced at every level of government decision making (central, regional, and local) to give minority groups power, participation, and influence commensurate with their overall size in society. The principle is manifested in two ways. First, through the electoral system, proportional representation is used to faithfully translate the demographic strength of the segments into commensurate representation in parliament; parties are awarded seats in parliament in direct proportion to votes garnered in an election. Second, the allocation of resources by the state—including the appointment of civil servants and public spending—should be doled out according to the pro— portionality principle. 4. Segmental group autonomy. Through either territorial federal— ism or “corporate federalism” (nonterritorial autonomy), consociationalism provides internal autonomy for all groups who want it by devolving decision—making authority to the segments. Lijphart draws distinctions between those issues that concern the common interest and those that primarily concern the segments. On the former, decisions are made by consensus; otherwise, decision—making power is delegated to the seg— ments. The basic principle underlying communal autonomy is “rule by the minority over itself in the area of the minoritv’s exclusive concern” (Lijphart 19.77az4l). An important feature of the call for entrenched group rights on certain issues is the principle of “voluntary affiliation.” I, Group identification should not be predefined or determined; instead the segments 38 DEMOCRACY AND ITS ALTERNATIVES of society would be able to define themselves through the pro— portional electoral system (Lijphart 1995). Lijphart consistently asserts that consociationalism is the only viable option for democracy in divided socreties: For. many plural societies of the non~VVestern world, therefore, the realistic chorce is not between the British [majoritarian] model of democracy and the consociational model, but between consociational democracy and no democracy at all” (l977a:238). Consociationalism, of course, is not without its critics. Later in this chapter and in chapter 4, I address criticisms of some of the specific practices (versus princrples) that are raised in response to the policy recommendations that flow from consociationalism, but here I raise three broad drawbacks of the consociational approach in order to better highlight the differences between it and the integrative approach. Those drawbacks are the reliance on elite accommodation and the problem of elite-initiated conflict; the reification of ethnic identity; and the tendency toward antidemocratic and inefficient decision making. (A fourth broad criticism raised by Horowitz—that consociationalism relies on con— straints, not incentives—is outlined in the next section.) _ Consociationalists have been criticized for the assertion that elites can effectively regulate conflict in divided societies. As the Anglo— Irish Agreement of 1985 demonstrates—as does the 1990 failure of the Meech Lake Accord agreed to by Canada’s provmcral leaders in l,987-—-—~even though political elites may agree on a formulafor accommodation, peace cannot endure without grass roots backing. In Northern Ireland the 1985 Anglo—Irish Agreement portendmg power sharing was reached without the inclusion of local Ulster, unionist, Protestant involvement; this constituencyperceived the agreement, negotiated by the United Kingdom on its behalf, as a step toward a unified Ireland. As Rose (1990:148) has suggested, “exclusion ftom the deliberations was regarded as part of a deliber- ate British plan to ‘sell out’ the Protestant majority.”.Moreover, George Tsebelis (1990) suggests that consoc1ational institutions may provide incentives for politicians to foment what he terms “elite—initiated conflict”——conflict along group lines in order to DEMOCRACY AND ITS ALTERNATIVES 39 bolster their own bargaining position vis—a-vis other groups at the political center. In a similar vein, Steven Burg is critical of consociationalism as the “ultimate form of elite manipulation and control,” reducing the accountability of political leaders to their communities. He writes: There is mounting evidence that consociational arrangements (power sharing and mutual veto) encourage elites to rule in opposi- tion to mass beliefs. Why did Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia fall apart? It was not because of . . . inter—ethnic hatreds at the mass level. It was because of elite mobilization of latent nationalisms, and because the structural characteristics of each system included power sharing and mutual veto, enabling [for example] the Slovene regional leadership and the Slovak regional leadership to paralyze their respective federal governments. Yugoslavia, in particular, was an extreme example of the kind of power sharing advocated by the consociationalists. Peaceful/common solutions to intergroup and interregional conflicts were precluded in the Yugoslav/ Czechoslovak cases by the actions of determined secessionists, not by the presence of spontaneous hatreds at the mass level. . . . The mass electorates did not want their respective countries to break up until elites had pushed these conflicts beyond the point of no return.16 Critics also assert that consociationalism serves to maintain, legit— imize, and strengthen segmental claims against the state, reinforcing and entrenching ethnicity in the political system. By freezing group boundaries in the political system—~for example, through statutory reservation of offices for specific group representatives—a consoci— ational power«sharing system is said to be an undynamic model for conflict management (Barry 1975). Providing structural guarantees for communities (for example, through a minority veto) can provide systemic incentives for maintaining the rigidity of the segments. The Lebanese National Pact of 1943 (see chapter 4) is often cited as a stark reminder of the need to keep power—sharing practices as flex— ible as possible. Finally, consociational institutions are arguably anti— democratic because they can stifle vigorous opposition politics. For example, the absence of an opposition party in a grand coalition may detract from the accountability of the government. Marc Chernick (1991) suggests that the exclusive nature of Colombia’s National 40 DEMOCRACY AND ITS ALTERNATIVES Front government between 1958 and 1974 led to the emergence of insurgent groups in subsequent years. ' In response to these criticisms, Lijphart refers to the consocia- tional arrangement as not an institutional blueprint but a set of principles to which certain institutions—such as a proportional rep- resentation electoral system—ere naturally suited. For example, he replies to the charge that consociationalism can “freeze” or rigidify segments by arguing that a proportional representation electoral system allows the segments to “define themselves.” While the insti— tutions of consociational decision making vary, its advocates argue, the principles are rediscovered time and time again as societies seek solutions to the existence of intense ethnic politics and methods to harness ethnicity for constructive purposes.17 Power Sharing: The Integrative Approach In contrast to the consociational model, Horowitz (1985:597~600) proposes a typology of five mechanisms aimed at reducing ethnic conflict: (1) dispersions of power, often territorial, which “prolifer— ate points of power so as to take the heat off of a single focal point”; (2) devolution of power and reservation of offices on an ethnic basis in an effort to foster intraethnic competition at the local level; (3) inducements for interethnic cooperation, such as electoral laws that effectively promote preelection electoral coalitions through vote pooling; (4) policies to encourage alternative social alignments, such as social class or territory, by placing political emphasis on crosscut— ting cleavages; and (5) reducing disparities between groups through managed distribution of resources. Horowitz’s prescriptions for conflict-regulating institutions in divided societies overlap those of Lijphart in certain respects: both advocate federalism, for example, and assert the importance of pro— portionality and ethnic balance. Yet Horowitz is an indefatigable critic of the consociational model for two important reasons (1985:568—576; 1991:137—145). First, he argues, is the problem of “elite-initiated conflict” that Tsebelis and Burg also identify. “There is no reason to think automatically,” Horowitz writes, “that elites DEMOCRACY AND ITS ALTERNATIVES 41 will use their leadership position to reduce rather than pursue con~ flict” (1991:141). Consociationalism overestimates the deference communal groups pay to their leaders and underestimates the power and role of popular dissatisfaction with intergroup compromise. Second, consociational institutions rely on constraints against immoderate politics, such as the mutual or minority veto, versus incentives for moderation (1991:154—160). Horowitz argues that political institutions should encourage or induce integration across communal divides. For effective democratic governance in a divided society, moderates must be rewarded, extremists sanctioned. The aim is to engineer a centrzpeml spin to the political system by provid~ ing electoral incentives for broad—based moderation by political leaders and disincentives for extremist outbidding (1985:601-652). This idea differentiates Horowitz’s prescriptions from those of con— sociationalism in two important respects. First, the key to any successful democratic political system in divided societies is to provide demonstrable incentives for politicians to appeal beyond their own communal segments for support. The only assumption is this: politicians will do whatever they need to do to get elected; they are rational electoral actors (Horowitz 1991 :261). When politicians are rewarded electorally for moderation, they temper their rhetoric and actions. Given this premise, the political system can be engineered to essentially encourage intergroup coop— eration as a prerequisite for electoral success. Horowitz contends that incentives are better than consociational constraints (such as the mutual veto) because they offer reasons for politicians and divided groups to behave moderately, rather than obstacles aimed at preventing them from pursuing hegemonic, defeat—the—other aims. The second difference is a concern with constituency—based mod— eration rather than reliance on political leaders as the engine of moderation. The solution is to design the electoral system so that leaders must appeal to underlying moderate sentiments in the elec— torate and shun the forces of extremism to win elecrions. Office seekers, by appealing to the most moderate sentiments of the elec— torate, maximize moderation at both the elite and the popular levels. Looking for the basis of consent at the constituency level allows DEMOCRACY AND ITS ALTERNATIVES politicians to make the kinds of compromises they must make at the center if the divided society is to be stable and truly democratic. The key to constituenc'hbased moderation is the electoral system. To safeguard minority interests, according to Horowitz, the system should make the votes of minority members count. Adinorities should have more than representation, they should have influence. Three institutions and practices are argued to have these effects: federalism, vote pooling, and the presidential system. 1. Federalism. Dramatic devolution of power can serve four important purposes in divided societies, according to Horowitz (1985 :601). First, it can combine with the electoral system to encourage the party proliferation that is conducive to inter— segmental compromise and coalition, building. Second, poli— ties at the regional and local levels can serve as training grounds for politics at the center: political leaders can form intergroup ties at the constituency level before they contest higher-stakes issues at the level of central government. Third, federalism disperses conflict at the center by resolving some issues at subtier levels and, in communally homogeneous fed— eral states, may promote cleavages wit/yin groups. Finally, it cre- ates difficulties for any parties hoping to get a hegemonic grip on the entire country; capturing all of the provincial states would be a difficult task. For example, the adoption of federal- ism at the time of democratization in Spain is an instructive example of successful ethnic conflict management through devolution (Horowitz 1985:623; Share 1986). “Federalism can either exacerbate or mitigate ethnic conflict,” Horowitz writes; “much depends on the number of components, the number of states, boundaries, and the ethnic composition” (1985 2603). . Vbte poaling. To Horowitz, divided societies need electoral sys tems that fragment support of one or more ethnic groups, especially ethnic majorities; induce interethnic bargaining; encourage the formation of multiethnic coalitions; produce fluidity and a multipolar balance; and produce proportional outcomes. Three types of electoral systems can achieve these DEMOCRACY AND I T5 ALTERNATIVES 43 UJ aims: a subsequent—preference voting system (among these sys— tems, the preferable one is alternative voting); mixed lists with a common voters roll; and single—member districts in multi— ethnic constituencies. In each instance the purpose is to pro— mote vote pooling by candidates or parties across ethnic lines. Although electoral systems and conflict management will be more thoroughly discussed in chapter 4, a brief introduction here highlights the differences between the consociational and integrative approaches. Why are electoral systems that provide for vote pooling superior for divided societies, in Horowitz’s View? The iogic is this: to win, politicians must seek to obtain the second~ or third—preference votes of those Who would not ordinarily vote for them (presumably because they do not represent the voter’s community). To gain second— or third—preference votes, lead— ers must behave moderately toward other communal groups. Outbidding will inevitably occur, Horowitz agrees, but so too will moderation. In response to the incentive structure of the electoral system, most politicians will vie to appear the most moderatew—they will compete with one another to define and occupy the political center. Centripetal forces will override centrifugal ones. The critical difference between the consocia— tional approach to electoral systems and Horowitz’s is thus the formation of electoral coalitions by constituents as they specify their second or third preferences beyond their own narrow group interests. As examples of successful interethnic vote pooling, Horowitz (1993) cites the system established by the Sri Lankan constitution of 1978, and the electoral politics of the Indian state of Kerala, where four major ethnic blocs share power in a fluid system of changing coalitions and alliances. . The presidential system. A presidency, argues Horowitz, if elected directly on the basis of a super—majority distributional formula or a subsequent—preference voting method, is a less exclusive institution than parliamentarism. Presidentialism is argued to have two important advantages in divided societies: First, if a president is elected with an electoral system that 44 DEMOCRACY AND I TS ALTERNATIVES requires broadly distributed support, an executive who has the broadest possible national appeal can be elected. A strong, statesmanlike, moderate president—forced to appeal to the least common denominator of electoral sentiments—can serve a unifying, nation—building role (Horowitz 1990a). Second, a strong executive would be able to push legislation through a divided parliament. If strong but benevolent leadership is required-to make tough economic decisions or redress his— torical injustices, for example—a strong president is desirable. An example of such a presidential system, according to Horo— witz, is Nigeria’s (l 985:63 6). Horowitz’s broad approach to ethnic conflict management-“the political incentive structure is one package,” he writes (1985165 1)——~ has also encountered criticism, considered here, as have the specific conflict~regulating practices (considered in chapter 4). There are four interrelated concerns: a paucity of empirical examples of the system at work; the questionable assumption that politicians will respond to the incentive system for moderation if it exists; that vot— ers be willing to vote for parties not based in their own group; and that the electoral systems Horowitz advocates are essentially majori— tarian. Like criticisms of consociationalisrn, these concerns go beyond simple conflict—regulating mechanisms and are rooted in basic beliefs about the fluidity and malleability of ethnic identity and representation. The criticism that there are few empirical examples of the system at work is the most important. In response, Horowitz acknowledges that few countries have “full packages of all the right institutions, [which is] a wrong standard in an area where we are trying to divine innovations, wherever they may be found, for countries with a sur~ plus of conflict and no obvious way out of it. If whole country expla— nations could be found, this would not be such a serious problem to begin with.”18 In chapter 4, the cases where integrative practices have been introduced are more fully explored. At the heart of the difference between consociational and inte— grative approaches to power sharing are the nature and formation of DEMOCRACY AND ITs ALTERNATIVES 45 multiethnic coalitions. In the consociational approach, coalitions are formed after an election by elites who realize that exclusive decision making will make the society ungovernable or who are compelled to do so by prior constitutional arrangements that are based on the same reasoning. In an integrative power—sharing system, coalitions are formed prior to an election—either as a coalition of parties in preelection pacts (vote pooling) or by a party with a broad multi— ethnic candidate slate. Consociational arrangements formed after elections, Horowitz contends, are fragile and tenuous “coalitions of convenience” as opposed to firm and enduring “coalitions of com- mitment” (19853654395). ...
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Power Sharing- Consociational vs. Integrative - The Views...

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