CONSOCIATIONAL POLITICS AND DEMOCRATIZATION: PAKISTAN’S EXPERIENCE

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Kalim Ullah Marwat
Dr. Samina Yasmeen

Abstract

The present paper is an attempt to evaluate consociational political strategies, grand coalition and segmental autonomy, in the political and democratic history of Pakistan from 1947 to Signing of Charter of Democracy in 2006. We challenge conventional wisdom and argue that it was not only centralized nature of Pakistani state which created hurdles for flourishing democracy and politics of accommodation, adjustment and respect. Rather, lack of consociational political strategies on the part of political elites also contributed to developing politics of contention. Through investigation of political history of Pakistan, the paper argues that failure of political elites to develop consociational political strategies had negative impacts on issues related to segmental autonomy, proportional representation and supremacy of parliament which are the core principles of Arend Lijphart’s consociational theory. While investigating role of Judiciary, the paper argues that as per consociational theory, superior judiciary has failed to play a-political and constitutional role.

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