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Article

Reducing Ethnic Conflict in Guyana through Political Reform

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2021
Keywords Guyana, race, ethnic conflict, political power, constitutional reform
Authors Nicola Pierre
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article discusses using constitutional reform to reduce ethnic conflict in Guyana. I start by exploring the determinants of ethnic conflict. I next examine Guyana’s ethnopolitical history to determine what factors led to political alignment on ethnic lines and then evaluate the effect of the existing political institutions on ethnic conflict. I close with a discussion on constitutional reform in which I consider a mix of consociationalist, integrative, and power-constraining mechanisms that may be effective in reducing ethnic conflict in Guyana’s ethnopolitical circumstances.


Nicola Pierre
Nicola Pierre is Commissioner of Title and Land Court Judge in Guyana.
Article

Still Consociational? Belgian Democracy, 50 Years After ‘The Politics of Accommodation’

Journal Politics of the Low Countries, Issue 1 2020
Keywords Belgium, consociational democracy, Lijphart, federalism, ethnolinguistic conflict
Authors Didier Caluwaerts and Min Reuchamps
AbstractAuthor's information

    Despite the enduring importance of Lijphart’s work for understanding democracy in Belgium, the consociational model has come under increasing threat. Owing to deep political crises, decreasing levels of trust in elites, increasing levels of ethnic outbidding and rising demands for democratic reform, it seems as if Lijphart’s model is under siege. Even though the consociational solution proved to be very capable of transforming conflict into cooperation in Belgian politics in the past, the question we raise in this article is whether and to what extent the ‘politics of accommodation’ is still applicable to Belgian democracy. Based on an in-depth analysis of the four institutional (grand coalition, proportionality, mutual veto rights and segmental autonomy) and one cultural (public passivity) criteria, we argue that consociational democracy’s very nature and institutional set-up has largely hollowed out its potential for future conflict management.


Didier Caluwaerts
Didier Caluwaerts is professor of political science at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. His research deals with democratic governance and innovation in deeply divided societies. With Min Reuchamps, he has recently published “The Legitimacy of Citizen-led Deliberative Democracy: The G1000 in Belgium” (Routledge, 2018).

Min Reuchamps
Min Reuchamps is professor of political science at the Université catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain). His teaching and research interests are federalism and multi-level governance, democracy and its different dimensions, relations between language(s) and politics and in particular the role of metaphors, as well as participatory and deliberative methods.
Article

Linguistic Disharmony, National Language Authority and Legislative Drafting in Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2013
Keywords National Language Authority, National Language of Pakistan, Legislation in Urdu, Plain Language Movement, Urdu Language
Authors Mazhar Ilahi
AbstractAuthor's information

    It is quite interesting to note that first, the first language of most of the population of Pakistan remains different in different geographical regions. Secondly, Urdu, which is the second language of most of the population of Pakistan though declared to be the sole constitutional and official language, is not so accepted by all the communities resident in Pakistan. As a result, and thirdly, the laws of Pakistan are drafted in a non-native language, English, which is mostly the third language of a small fraction of the country’s population . This situation runs counter to the theme of the Plain Language Movement for writing of laws (PLM), which strives to make the laws understandable for its subjects. The problem, in reality, owes its genesis to different ethno-lingual and political issues. However, without going into much detail of these ethno-lingual and political elements, this article aims to analyse the question of the need for linguistic harmony, the main causes of lack of focus upon the same and the role of the National Language Authority (NLA) in the context. In addressing these issues the author concludes that lack of political will to handle the natural ensuing issues of the multilingual features of the Pakistani society and the (English) linguistic hegemony of the ruling elites (civil and military bureaucracy) are the two main causes of the failure of the NLA to administer Urdu as a sole national/official/legislative language of Pakistan.


Mazhar Ilahi
The author is a Solicitor qualified in England & Wales currently working as an Associate Research Fellow and Director of the Legislative Drafting Clinic at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London. Previously, he has worked as a Civil Judge/Judicial Magistrate and is practicing as Advocate of High Courts in Pakistan. He is also country (Pakistan) representative of ‘CLARITY’, International Association Promoting Plain Legal Language. The author acknowledges the research facilitation provided by the IALS in writing this article.
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