ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Partition or Consociationalism

Politics in Deeply Divided Societies by Adrian Guelke (Cambridge and Malden: Polity Press), 2012; pp viii + 178, £55 (hb).

Collective violence in democratic states is a subject much deliberated upon both in policy circles and academia. It is an issue with a long past and multiple strands. Class differences and violence have been complicated by ethnic divides and issues of immigrants and new minorities. Adrian Guelke’s present work attempts to address these issues of power contestations and reconciliation in what he calls “deeply divided societies” of contemporary times. He focuses on two kinds of societies – those ravaged by horizontal divisions and those troubled by vertical discord. Both horizontal divisions, between dominant and subordinate strata, and vertical divisions, between communities of equal status, are features of the contemporary democratic world.

Types of Divisions

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