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Power-Sharing in a Re-United Cyprus: Centripetal Coalitions vs. Proportional Sequential Coalitions

McGarry, John, Loizides, Neophytos G. (2015) Power-Sharing in a Re-United Cyprus: Centripetal Coalitions vs. Proportional Sequential Coalitions. International Journal of Constitutional Law, 13 (4). pp. 847-872. ISSN 1474-2640. E-ISSN 1474-2659. (doi:10.1093/icon/mov071) (KAR id:50985)


Power-sharing coalitions in severely divided places can take centripetal or consociational forms. Respectively, these aim to foster moderation by restricting coalitions to moderate parties from different ethnic communities or inclusivity by ensuring that coalitions are broadly and proportionately representative of the main political forces. This article draws on the experience of Cyprus to show the limits of negotiating centripetal coalitions even under “most likely to succeed” conditions. It investigates a major centripetalist initiative on the island between 2008 and 2010, and explains why this failed to catalyze a negotiated settlement. Likewise, the article points to the limits of classic consociational approaches in mediating power-sharing arrangements, particularly approaches that rely on corporate ethnic quotas. Contrary to conventional wisdom and much international practice, the article shows that consociational coalitions can take a liberal form that bypass such quotas. Specifically, the article presents and defends an important innovation in consociational theory and practice: the proportional sequential (PS) coalition. PS coalitions are automatically determined by election results, and allocate portfolios on a proportionate and liberal basis amongst a divided polity’s main political parties. We argue that PS coalitions can provide a broadly inclusive and negotiable settlement in the context of a re-united Cyprus as well as in other divided polities.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1093/icon/mov071
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
K Law
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Depositing User: Neophytos Loizides
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2015 12:46 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:28 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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Loizides, Neophytos G..

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