Majoritarian or Power‐Sharing Government

Andrew Reynolds

in Electoral Systems and Democratization in Southern Africa

Published in print January 1999 | ISBN: 9780198295105
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600128 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Democratization

 Majoritarian or Power‐Sharing Government

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This is the last of four chapters that discusses the theoretical underpinnings of the research on democratization in southern Africa that is described in the book, as well as provides qualitative discussions of democracy in the five country case studies used: Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. It deals with the theoretical debate underlying the debate over majoritarian or power-sharing governments in divided societies. The ethos and defining institutional characteristics of five democratic types that have, at some stage, been advocated for use in the new democracies of southern Africa are outlined: three majoritarian (unadulterated, qualified, and integrative) and two power-sharing (consociational, and consensual (integrative)). The five main sections of the chapter are: Majoritarian Democracy (unadulterated and qualified; integrative); Power-Sharing Democracy (consociationalism; integrative consensual power-sharing); The Relevance of Presidentialism; Applying the Types to Fledgling Democracies in Southern Africa; and Prescriptions for Southern Africa.

Keywords: case studies; consensual government; consociational government; democratic types; democratization; majoritarian governments; Malawi; Namibia; power-sharing governments; Presidentialism; South Africa; southern Africa; Zambia; Zimbabwe

Chapter.  13123 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Politics

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