Consociational Electoral Engineering Revisited: Findings from Bosnia and Herzegovina

by Peter Rožič,

Does nationalism continue to determine elections in consociational political arrangements even long after the conflict? To examine the presumed reduction of nationalism in divided societies through consociationalism, this article tests the impact of ethnicity on the relative success of non-nationalist political parties. Using an original dataset from the local elections of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as in-depth studies of Bosnian voting from 1996 to 2010, this article demonstrates that consociational policies produce mixed results. The effect of social welfare on Bosnian voters points to the emergence of social cleavages other than ethnicity. However, the movement toward non-nationalist parties remains limited. The divisive differentiation between ethnic groups persists since the rigid structures of consociationalism help sustain peace but solidify the ethnic tensions.

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Advisory Board

  • Alina Mungiu-Pippidi (chair) Hertie School of Governance
  • Larry Diamond Stanford University
  • Tom Gallagher University of Bradford
  • Alena Ledeneva University College London
  • Michael McFaul Stanford University
  • Philippe Schmitter Stanford University
  • Helen Wallace London School of Economics and Political Science

Managing Editors

  • George Jiglau
  • Ingi Iusmen

Published by:

Societatea Academica Romana