Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 28 March 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article explores several of the more widely used constitutional devices used to structure political life in complex societies in ways that give voice to each distinct segment of society while at the same time fostering stable democratic government. Constitutional devices here are understood in a broad sense of the term, to include both formal provisions in constitutions and law, as well as established political ‘arrangements’ that are part of a ‘living constitution’. The emphasis, however, will be on planned structural devices — formal constitutional architecture — that have been consciously adopted with specific objectives in mind. These several devices are: consociational political arrangements; majoritarian democracy with limited government; federalism; devolution and decentralization; voting systems (e.g., single-member representative districts, proportional representation, preferential voting); and multiculturalism recognized in bills or charters of rights that extend rights to individuals or groups.

Keywords: constitutional devices, political life, complex societies, consociational political arrangements, majoritarian democracy, federalism, devolution, decentralization, voting systems, multiculturalism

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.