“Consociational democracy” or “Konkordanzdemokratie” has been described as the response of political elites in certain countries to the challenge of strong sub-cultural segmentation (chapter 1, above; also Iijphart 1968 and the articles compiled in McRae, 1974). Conflict within “fragmented political cultures” is settled by bargaining among the top leadership of rival groups. “Consociational” strategies, however, may not only serve to manage conflict of highly integrated and mutually incompatible value systems. The proposition of this paper is that they have also been employed for stabilizing and steering highly developed capitalist economies by promoting a new type of social integration. In this patterned arrangement, the relations between government and organized interest groups take the form of a new corporatism which we shall call “liberal corporatism”. While consociational democracies have moved strongly towards the corporatist model of policy-making, the question arises whether both — consociationalism as well as corporatism — will not disintegrate as a consequence of an increase in social mobilization by the rank and file and a revival of class conflict in advanced capitalism.
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- Consociational Democracy, Class Conflict, and the New Corporatism
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