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Democracy in Plural Societies

A Comparative Exploration

Arend Lijphart


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While it may be difficult to achieve and maintain stable democratic governments in countries with deep religious, ideological, linguistic, cultural, or ethnic cleavages, Lijphart argues that it is not at all impossible. Through the analysis of political systems in six continents, he demonstrates that what he calls consociational democracy can be successful in severely divided or plural societies.
“Here, once again, Arend Lijphart is directing our attention to matters which will surely engage much of the attention of students of comparative politics in the next decade.” G. Bingham Powell, Jr., American Political Science Review
“A study which can speak to such a wide audience in political science deserves a warm welcome from the profession.” Government and Opposition
“A copybook example of the comparative method of political analysis, as well as indispensable reading for all who have an interest in the nature and prospects of representative democracy, whether in Europe or beyond.”—The Times Higher Education Supplement
“This well-written work, containing a wealth of information on politics of many diverse nations, is highly recommended.”—Library Journal

Yale University Press, 9780300024944, 260pp.

Publication Date: September 10, 1980