Majority Rule versus Democracy in Deeply Divided Societies

  • Arend Lijphart

Abstract

Two widely accepted — but nevertheless quite erroneous — theoretical notions appear to dominate contemporary scholarly thinking and writing about the politics, in culturally, ethnically, and racially divided societies: the equation of democracy with majority rule, and the proposition that democracy is not a viable form of government for such deeply divided societies. These ideas are both so basic and so prevalent in political science that they may be compared to ‘paradigms’ in Thomas S. Kuhn’s sense of the term.1

Keywords

Europe Assimilation Expense Malaysia Nigeria 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962).Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Willmoore Kendall, John Locke and the Doctrine of Majority Rule (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1965).Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract, trans. by G. D. H. Cole (New York: Dutton, 1950) p. 107.Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    W. Arthur Lewis, Politics in West Africa (London: Allen & Unwin, 1965) pp. 64–6.Google Scholar
  5. 7.
    Emanuel Gutmann, ‘Religion and National Integration in Israel’, paper presented at the Round Table on Political Integration of the International Political Science Association, Jerusalem, 1974, p. 25.Google Scholar
  6. 10.
    Edward Shils, ‘The Fortunes of Constitutional Government in the Political Development of the New States’, in John H. Hallowell (ed.), Development: For What? (Durham: Duke University Press, 1964) p. 103 (emphasis added).Google Scholar
  7. 12.
    John Stuart Mill, Considerations on Representative Government (New York: Liberal Arts Press, 1958) p. 230.Google Scholar
  8. 13.
    J. S. Furnivall, Colonial Policy and Practice: A Comparative Study of Burma and Netherlands India (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1948) p. 304.Google Scholar
  9. 14.
    Gabriel A. Almond, ‘Comparative Political Systems’, Journal of Politics vol. 18, no. 3 (Aug 1956), pp. 391–409, reprinted in Almond, Political Development: Essays in Heuristic Theory (Boston: Little, Brown, 1970) ch. 1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 15.
    Seymour Martin Lipset, Political Man: The Social Bases of Politics (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1960) pp. 88–9.Google Scholar
  11. 18.
    See Eric A. Nordlinger, Conflict Regulation in Divided Societies, Occasional Papers in International Affairs, no. 29 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University, Center for International Affairs, 1972) pp. 36–9.Google Scholar
  12. 22.
    See Val R. Lorwin, ‘Segmented Pluralism: Ideological Cleavages and Political Cohesion in the Smaller European Democracies’, Comparative Politics, vol. 3, no. 2 (Jan 1971) pp. 141–75;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 22.
    Gerhard Lehmbruch, Proporzdemokratie: Politisches System und politische Kultur in der Schweiz und in Osterreich (Tübingen: Mohr, 1967);Google Scholar
  14. 22.
    Kenneth McRae (ed.), Consociational Democracy: Political Accommodation in Segmented Societies (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1974);Google Scholar
  15. 22.
    See Hans Daalder, ‘The Consociational Democracy Theme’, World Politics, vol. 26, no. 4 (July 1974) pp. 604–21;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 22.
    Brian Barry, ‘Political Accommodation and Consociational Democracy’, British Journal of Political Science, vol. 5, no. 4 (Oct 1975) pp. 477–505;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 22.
    See W. B. Vosloo, ‘Pluralisme as teoretiese perspektief vir veelvolkige naasbestaan in Suid-Afrika’, Politikon, vol. 1, no. 1 (June 1974) pp. 4–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 23.
    John C. Calhoun, A Disquisition on Government (New York: Liberal Arts Press, 1953) p. 28.Google Scholar
  19. 24.
    See Johan Galtung, ‘Violence, Peace, and Peace Research’, Journal of Peace Research, vol. 6, no. 3 (1969) pp. 183–6.Google Scholar
  20. 25.
    Jürg Steiner, ‘The Principles of Majority and Proportionality’, British Journal of Political Science, vol. 1, no. 1 (Jan 1971) p. 69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 26.
    See Lijphart, Democracy in Plural Societies: A Comparative Exploration (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977) ch. 3.Google Scholar
  22. 27.
    Hans Daalder, ‘On Building Consociational Nations: The Cases of the Netherlands and Switzerland’, International Social Science Journal, vol. 23, no. 3 (1971) pp. 367–8.Google Scholar
  23. 28.
    Gabriel A. Almond and Robert J. Mundt, ‘Crisis, Choice and Change: Some Tentative Conclusions’, in Gabriel A. Almond, Scott C. Flanagan and Robert J. Mundt (eds), Crisis, Choice and Change: Historical Studies of Political Development (Boston: Little, Brown, 1973) p. 649.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Nic Rhoodie 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arend Lijphart

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations