Consociationalism has been implemented and is often regarded as a highly effective means for establishing democracy in highly divided states as it is theorized to reduce violence and the risk of civil war. This I.S. addresses consociationalism and its critics, and theorizes they are recommending two types of democracy for their audiences based upon their more detail-oriented policy recommendations. Consociationalists build a democratic system focused on forced coexistence, while critics of consociationalism recommend systems reliant on cooperation across and between groups. The study then broadly tests the effectiveness of these two systems through a cross-sectional statistical test and a comparative case-study of Bosnia and Croatia. While portions of the statistical test demonstrates cooperative democracies experienced no riots during the cross-sectional analysis, both the case study and further statistical analysis yield inconclusive results. This is largely due to a lack of data available, as there exist few comparable cooperative democracies, and information regarding the protests used for the case studies at this time. While the reduction of consociationalist theory and its criticisms to a coexistence/cooperation dichotomy may be theoretically useful, more research is needed to understand whether it is empirically meaningful.


Krain, Matthew

Second Advisor

Marsh, Kevin


Political Science


Comparative Politics | International Relations | Political Science


Democracy, Violence, Consociationalism, Political Institutions, Political Violence, Civil Conflict, Protests, Social Movements

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2015 John K. Wagner