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Supposed Cases of Historical Success Experiencing Significant Instability: Canada and Belgium

  • Brighid Brooks Kelly
Chapter

Abstract

Canada and Belgium are commonly recognized as having benefitted tremendously from consociation but the cleavages which inspired both countries’ adoption of its mechanisms remain problematic. For more than 150 years, Canada and Belgium have been governed by consociational institutions and practices, which are credited with enabling elites to maintain stability and prevent their states’ disintegration. Both countries are now federations and this is not surprising considering that their potentially destabilizing cleavages involve geographically concentrated groups seeking regional autonomy. Although some predict Canada and Belgium could experience secession, substantial evidence suggests this will be prevented by overarching state-directed loyalty, desire to avoid destabilization and uncertainty, and required majoritarian consent for secession in Canada.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brighid Brooks Kelly
    • 1
  1. 1.Andrea Mitchell Center for the Study of DemocracyUniversity of PennsylvaniaSwarthmoreUSA

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