What are the Consequences of Consociationalism for Sexual Minorities? An analysis of Liberal and Corporate Consociationalism and Sexual Minorities in Northern Ireland and Lebanon

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Existing research on consociationalism largely debates whether or not it
exacerbates ethnic cleavages. Yet, although power sharing in some
circumstances can harden ethnonational identities, a correlative consequence may be to further marginalize groups outside of the bounds of official inclusion. While an emerging corpus of literature looks at women and power sharing, little research has been done regarding the implications
of power sharing for sexual minorities. We argue in this article that consociationalism does impact on sexual minorities in complex ways. To
account for variations in types of consociationalism, we examine two
divergent forms – liberal and corporate – that demonstrate differences in
relation to sexual minorities. Thus, we compare sexual minorities within
Northern Ireland’s liberal structure with those in Lebanon’s corporate form.
We find that differences between liberal and corporate consociations generate important, albeit complicated, implications for sexual minorities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)854-871
Number of pages17
JournalPolitical Studies
Issue number4
Early online date22 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016



  • consociationalism
  • Northern Ireland
  • Lebanon
  • divided societies
  • sexual minorities

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