Chapter

‘Democracy’ in Northern Ireland: Experiments in Self-rule from the Protestant Ascendancy to the Good Friday Agreement

John McGarry and Brendan O'Leary

in The Northern Ireland Conflict

Published in print March 2004 | ISBN: 9780199266579
Published online August 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191601446 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199266573.003.0011
‘Democracy’ in Northern Ireland: Experiments in Self-rule from the Protestant Ascendancy to the Good Friday Agreement

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Pierre van den Berghe has argued that democracy in divided societies can take five different forms: Herrenvolk democracy, ethnic democracy, liberal democracy, multicultural democracy, and consociational democracy. This chapter argues that each of these five ostensible versions of democracy, or relatives of them, has been experimented with in pre-partition Ireland and Northern Ireland. While all have clear limits, the one that is most suited to Northern Ireland's conditions is consociational democracy. The chapter discusses some limits of the consociational approach, but also defends it against common criticisms.

Keywords: consociational democracy; Herrenvolk democracy; ethnic democracy; liberal democracy; multicultural democracy

Chapter.  11828 words. 

Subjects: UK Politics

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