Consociationalism under Examination: Is Consociationalism the Optimal Multiculturalist Approach for Turkey?


Domes : digest of Middle East studies, vol.29, no.1, pp.26-52, 2020 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 29 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/dome.12204
  • Journal Name: Domes : digest of Middle East studies
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.26-52
  • Keywords: centripetalism, consociationalism, ethno-cultural diversity, Kurds, multiculturalism, Turkey, ALTERNATIVE VOTE, NORTHERN-IRELAND, KURDISH, POLITICS, DEMOCRACY, IDENTITY, QUESTION, POLICY, RECOGNITION, ELECTIONS
  • Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University Affiliated: Yes


Some scholars maintain that the Republic of Turkey should construct a consociational model to manage its ethno-cultural diversity. This article suggests consociationalism is not the optimal multiculturalist approach for Turkey, where there is some degree of interethnic moderation between ethnic Kurds and Turks at the grassroots level. In the presence of this mass-based moderation, a consociational formula is unlikely to provide Turkish political leaders with political incentives that urge them to cooperate and enter into consociational power-sharing arrangements with their Kurdish counterparts. This renders consociational power-sharing arrangements difficult to promote or enforce in Turkey. In the absence of such incentives, any multicultural reform of the consociational formula would not be sustainable in Turkey. There would simply not be enough popular support for such reforms. There are some electoral strategies that offer both majority and minority leaders political incentives to move toward the moderate middle, form interethnic coalitions, foster interculturalism, and increase the number of intercultural citizens. These strategies are offered by centripetalism, another multiculturalist approach to managing ethno-cultural diversity.