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1. Friendly or cooperative association, as between groups or organizations.
2. Ecology A subdivision of an association having one dominant species of plant.
3. A political arrangement in which various groups, such as ethnic or racial populations within a country or region, share power according to an agreed formula or mechanism.

con·so′ci·a′tion·al adj.
References in periodicals archive ?
For the community to retain a say in Lebanon, it must return to the principles of the National Pact and the consociational system.
Ninety-five years after the creation of its current borders and 70 years after independence, Lebanon has failed to amalgamate the many nations that inhabit it and while it harbours democratising tendencies -- it is the only functioning democracy in the entire region on account of its extreme levels of tolerance -- the consociational democracy was under duress.
Any successful new social contract should be somehow administratively federalist in regards to Kurds, and be consociational (or consociationally democratic) in regards to the division between secular and religious citizens.
Although it can be argued that the Dayton Peace Accord is not a good model given the challenges faced in its implementation, it certainly tested the muscles of the international community in the Consociational Agreement.
Lebanon's consociational democracy was based off of findings from the census, solidified in a 1943 agreement to always appoint a Maronite Christian
Under this constitution, Bosnia is to become a consociational democracy comprised of two entities: the (predominantly Bosniak-Croat) Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the (predominantly Serb) Republika Srpska.
While most Arab countries were ruled by top-heavy autocracies dominated by individuals or families, often representing some minority sect or ethnic group, Lebanon was different: It was governed by a consociational system of government that sought consensus among 18 different confessional groups represented in the parliament and society.
The response lies largely in Belgium's consociational model that has been put in place at the central level to deal with the linguistic cleavage.
This argument is valid as many scholars accept India as a successful consociational democracy despite acute diversity across the country on caste, language and religious lines.
Prior research also finds that consociational forms of democracy are best suited for managing conflict and guaranteeing representation in diverse societies (Lijphart, 1977; Lijphart, 1979; Adeney, 2007).
The pluralist model (or better, the consociational model) favors having government shared by politically salient social groups.
On the political side, one can distinguish political (sub-) systems that have a rather competitive structure from political (sub-)systems with a consociational character.