Consociationalism in Northern Ireland

Warning: Use of undefined constant no - assumed 'no' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/austra01/public_html/ on line 162


The concept of governance has been a highly contested issue in human society. This is in relation to the diverse nature of human ideologies and interests. There have also been identified different forms of government structures which are adopted in different nations. These include monarchies, democracies, authoritarians, and consociationalism. All these forms of government structures have been identified to have varying levels of efficiency in reference to service to the people. In particular, consociationalism form of government has been highly contested in the global scene. This form of governance has attracted opposing viewpoints from the ruling class as well as the general public. Consociationalism in Northern Ireland.

Pay to Unlock the Answer!

The prospects of inter-ethnic cooperation are damaged by the Consociationalism institutions, thus diverging the conflicts. A point worth of consideration is that Consociationalism encourages vote pool by extremist parties like Sinn Fein thus jeopardizing democracy.


The discussion and analysis of the issue of Consociationalism has demonstrated numerous inefficiencies it brings to the society. Despite that this form of government is efficient in conflict resolution; it is overwhelmed by a series of shortcomings. It has been evident that Consociationalism is not sustainable and only seeks to offer short term solutions. The long term impacts of Consociationalism are very adverse and thus call for its abandonment. The case of Northern Ireland has been a good example of the state of Consociationalism. In this case, this from of governance has led to numerous shortcomings. The most outstanding effect of Consociationalism is that it leads to political polarization. Consociationalism leads to leadership and dominance by ethnic elites who seek to control all forces of the society. With this in mind, it should be clearly noted that Consociationalism is inefficient and out to be abandoned.

Works Cited

Clancy, Mary. Peace without Consensus: Power Sharing Politics in Northern Ireland. New

 Jersey: Sage, 2010. Print 7

McGarry, John & O’Leary, Brendan. The Northern Ireland Conflict: Consociational

 Engagements. London: Wiley, 2004. Print 45

McGarry, John. Northern Ireland and the Divided World: The Northern Ireland Conflict and the

Good Friday Agreement in Comparative Perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001. Print 37

McKay, Margaret, & Gregory Irwin. Local government power-sharing: a study of district

 Councils in Northern Ireland. Belfast: Institute of Irish Studies, 1995. Print 33

Nordlinger, Eric. Conflict regulation in divided societies [Occasional papers in international

 Affairs, 29]. Cambridge, MA: Center for International Affairs, 1972. Print 12

O’Leary, Brendan. “The limits to coercive consociationalism in Northern Ireland”. Political

 Studies 37 (4), (1989), 562-88

O’Leary, Brendan. “The character of the 1998 Agreement: Results and Prospects”, in R. Wilford

 (ed.), Aspects of the Belfast Agreement. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001. Print 45

O’Leary, Brendan. “The nature of the Agreement”.  Fordham journal of international law,  22

 (4), (1999), 1628-67

Taylor, Rupert. Consociational Theory: McGarry and O’Leary and the Northern Ireland

 Conflict. New York: Prentice Hall, 2009. Print 27

Tonge, Jonathan. Northern Ireland. London: Sage, 2006. Print 28

Wagner, Patrick. Northern Ireland After the Good Friday Agreement: On the Way to Peace or

 Conflict Perpetuated? New York: Wiley, 2007. Print 19