In legal and political theory consociational democracy is a neglected model. Even so, consociationalism has many features that make it relevant for the cultural and religious divisions of the 21st century. Consociationalism is a quintessentially Dutch 'regime of toleration'. It was originally developed for the entrenched religious and sociopolitical divisions of the Netherlands in the 19th and early 20th centuries. This traditional segmentation has disappeared and many commentators believe the system has outlived its relevance. The article contends, however, that consociationalism in its generic form of power sharing is still topical and relevant. The revolution in information and communication technology has changed the habitat in which minorities exist. The consociational model can inform ways to deal with the new deterritorialized communities of the globalized world, which seem every bit as autonomous of the nation state as the old religious and sociopolitical segments of Dutch society.

consociationalism, deterritorialization, globalization, information and communication technology, modernization, multiculturalism, nation state, post-secular age, secularization
dx.doi.org/10.1177/1468796811434914, hdl.handle.net/1765/86379
Ethnicities
Erasmus School of Law

de Been, W.H.J. (2012). Continuity or regime change in the Netherlands: Consociationalism in a deterritorialized and post-secular world. Ethnicities, 12(5), 531–555. doi:10.1177/1468796811434914