Footnote 1, Chapter 3, Page 55:

The following discussion demonstrates that this study’s conclusions should be considered applicable to phenomena described as “ethnic conflicts” and conflicts characterized by various categories of cleavages: A brief analysis of the relationship between this concept of plural societies and widely recognized notions of what constitutes “ethnic conflict” will assist the refinement of the specific definition of plural societies here. It also illustrates that, although many different definitions of ethnicity exist, careful comparison of them suggests that it is reasonable to argue that the attributes of societies which make them “plural” or troubled by “ethnic conflict” are virtually the same. This similarly shows that this study's conclusions will be applicable to both plural societies and those experiencing “ethnic conflict.” The OED provides information concerning the use of the term, plural societies, by the general public so the validity of academics’ definitions of this concept can be confirmed through reference to this reference source. The OED defines “plural society” as “a society composed of different ethnic groups or cultural traditions; a society in which ethnic differences, etc., are reflected in the political structure.” The remainder of the dictionary entry concerning this concept does not clarify what the “etc.” in this quote refers to. The meaning provided by the OED does not agree with Lijphart’s requirement of “virtually separate subsocieties.” However, the OED’s reference to “reflect[ion] in the political structure” suggests that its definition may be consistent with Lijphart’s requirement for “clearly identifiable and measurable segments” and “sharp” divisions. While Lijphart states that these segments can be divided according to “religious, ideological, linguistic, cultural, ethnic, or racial lines,” the OED quote refers explicitly to only cultural and ethnic differences. However, with the probable exception of “ideological,” Lijphart’s other types of divisions are arguably encompassed by the “cultural” and “ethnic” categories. Definitions of plural societies offered by the OED, Furnivall, Smith, and Rabushka and Shepsle collectively support the conclusion that ideological divisions should not be regarded as contributing to the extent to which they are plural. Of the four concepts of plural societies offered by these sources, only Furnivall’s suggested that ideological cleavages can themselves make societies plural. Even he seemed to believe that it is groups’ collective support of separate demands, rather than the nature of these demands, that constitutes pluralism. In addition, if ideological difference was considered a defining characteristic of plural societies, virtually all societies would be plural to some extent. Comparison of the depictions of plural societies offered by Lijphart and the other scholars facilitates confirmation of the optimal definition that should be reflected in quantitative analyses, if his theory concerning consociation is to be tested most accurately. By this definition, plural societies are diverse with respect to religion, language, culture, ethnicity, and/or race, and are also sharply divided because of the collective actions of the people who identify themselves through reference to the groups comprising this diversity. The concept of plural societies used by Lijphart and other scholars is better understood through comparison of these societies with those which are widely regarded to be ethnically divided. Examination of the relationship between these two sets of societies also provides an indication of the extent to which this book’s conclusions concerning consociation in plural societies can be considered applicable to countries diagnosed as experiencing “ethnic conflict.” Particularly since consociation is widely believed to hinder ethnic conflict, recognition of the close relationship between plural societies and ethnic conflict is important because it indicates that it is valid to infer conclusions regarding ethnic conflict from this book’s findings involving plural societies. Part 2 of this chapter will explore the relationship between these two phenomena and discuss the relevancy of this book’s findings to ethnic conflict. The appropriateness of the precise definition of plural societies to be analyzed is further illustrated through the examination of the relationship between ethnic conflict and the divisions which render societies plural. This exercise also yields an initial indication of the extent to which findings concerning one type of division can be considered applicable to the other. The most potentially controversial decision made for this analysis involving its definition of plural societies is the exclusion of ideological cleavages as an indicator of pluralness. Widely held assumptions concerning the relationship between ethnicity and plural societies emphasize the prudence of this decision. Although Lijphart identifies “ethnic” as but one form of cleavage conducive to the development of plural societies, many academic treatments of consociation seem to assume that, when Lijphart mentions tensions in “plural societies,” he is referring to “ethnic” conflict. There is also a widespread belief that religion, language, culture, and race are arguably components of ethnicity. If this relationship does exist, it supports the argument that excluding ideology from our definition of plural will actually improve the usefulness of this study’s conclusions for the majority of those who analyze the effects of consociation. Some academics agree with Rabushka and Shepsle that “ethnic divisions” can “be… racial, religious, linguistic, or tribal.” Norris defines ethnic identities… as social constructs with deep cultural and psychological roots based on national, cultural-linguistic, racial, or religious backgrounds. They provide an affective sense of belonging and are socially defined in terms of their meaning for the actors, representing ties of blood, soil, faith, and community. Martin Bulmer similarly defines ethnicity as encompassing religious, linguistic, and other forms of identity: An ‘ethnic group’ is a collectivity within a larger society, having real or putative common ancestry, memories of a shared past, and a cultural focus on one or more symbolic elements which define the group’s identity, such as kinship, religion, language, shared territory, nationality or physical appearance. Members of an ethnic group are conscious of belonging to the group. The inclusive nature of these definitions, which are provided by social scientists, seem particularly likely to represent reality because they are largely consistent with each other and other usages of the term outside academia. For instance, the OED explains that, the word, “ethnic,” was originally used to identify those people who were not Christians or Jews, and were thus categorized as “heathen” and “pagan.” Uses of the term as late as 1964 in the United States referred to Jews as comprising an ethnic group so, even if they did so inadvertently, they described a religious group as constituting an ethnicity. Other definitions of “ethnic” recorded by the OED describe it as a term representing “minorit[ies],” and “pertaining to or having common racial, cultural, religious, or linguistic characteristics.” In his study of “ethno-religious conflict,” Jonathan Fox observes that “[m]ost agree that religion is an aspect of ethnicity.” However, he interprets Gurr’s work as implying that “religion is salient to ethnicity if it is a defining trait that sets a group apart in its own eyes and/or in the eyes of others.” After reviewing others’ opinions on the topic, Fox concludes that “religion is an aspect of ethnicity” but it is also “a distinct and independent factor that can contribute to ethnic identity.” Fox exemplifies a widely expressed opinion concerning the relationship between attributes like religion and language, and ethnicity. He seems to see religion as an aspect of ethnicity because it is a marker for it, which simultaneously reflects and “contributes” to it. This arguably contradictory idea posits that these phenomena can be both constitutive of ethnicity and something separate that influences it. This issue must be explored because, if ethnic conflicts can be defined as including religion and other types of identity, they will be almost equivalent to Lijphart’s concept of antagonism in plural societies. If this is true, it will be appropriate for findings concerning consociation to be applied to future analyses concerning “ethnic conflict.” Work by many academics exemplifies the confusion concerning the relationship between ethnicity and other factors that Lijphart sees as forming the basis for divisions in plural societies. In a quantitative analysis of partition, Nicholas Sambanis categorizes civil wars as either “ethnic/religious” or “ideology/other.” This approach interestingly implies that ethnicity and religion are two separate things but also that these two are more similar to each other than to ideology. Another quantitative analysis by Brian Silver and Kathleen Dowley suggests that some apparent decisions concerning the definition of ethnicity may be heavily influenced by what data is available. They explain: “If we count as ethnic any of several variables in the… data sets- ethnicity/race… racial/ethnic background… religious denomination… language… region… then it is possible to obtain information on ethnic/racial characteristics of individual respondents for 16 countries.” In another excerpt from the same study, Silver and Dowley seem to reveal their own predisposition to consider ethnicity and religion to be separate phenomena: “… groups are distinguished by language, race, ethnic self-identification, or religion.” Michael Banton suggests that ethnicity and other attributes, such as religion, are separate but often accompany each other: Ethnic groups… are currently distinguished from national, religious, and racial groups by cultural distinctiveness associated with a belief in distinctive origin, though any particular group may be both ethnic and national, ethnic and religious, ethnic and racial, or distinctive on multiple dimensions. However, his observation seems problematic because national, religious, and racial groups very often also possess “cultural distinctiveness associated with a belief in distinctive origin.” Banton admits that groups can feel “distinctive on multiple dimensions” but he avoids discussing the fact that groups of people often share these multiple loyalties and ethnicity is therefore inextricably linked with attributes that are associated with it. Fox emphasizes the problem with assuming that religious and ethnic conflicts are intrinsically separate phenomena. After performing a quantitative analysis designed to discern the relationship between religious and ethnic conflicts, Fox finds that, even when “ethnic conflicts” are “between groups of different religions,” religious issues are often not “important” to the conflicts. Virginia Tilley seems to provide one reason why the interaction between ethnicity and factors like religion has never been agreed upon. She emphasizes that the academic community does not share a single definition of “ethnicity.” She explains that “’[e]thnicity’ has always comprised a kind of catch-all term for social features such as language, religion, customs or food or dress, folklore and/or general groupings by country or regional heritage. According to Tilley, Glazer and Moynihan describe “ethnicity as being comprised of culture, religion, language, customs and political affiliation.” Their definition of ethnicity sounds surprisingly akin to Lijphart’s definition of “plural,” even down to their reference to apparently ideological, political affiliation. Tilley actually claims that “ethnicity… has become a way to signal virtually any category of group identity, even gender” and that it is used more and more “as a euphemism for ‘culture.’” Academic treatments of ethnicity and its relationship to religion, culture, language, and race suggest that it is plausible to argue that, depending on the context, these four phenomena can merge with other elements of ethnicity, to such an extent that they become indistinguishable. For example, if the United States’ Roman Catholic community favored state funding of religious schools, the conflict inspired by this demand would not be ethnic if the only common bond holding this community together was religion. However, when Catholics in Northern Ireland discuss state funding of their separate schools, their actions involve ethnic conflict because their group distinguishes itself from the remainder of the Northern Irish population nationally, religiously, culturally, historically, and arguably even linguistically, racially, and ideologically. The thing that groups in plural societies described by Lijphart, and those in ethnic conflicts described by other academics, seem to have in common is that they find it necessary to emphasize their group identities and justify them by referring to what they have in common, which may conceivably pertain to almost anything but usually involves factors like religion, language, and history. Although primordialists contend that such identities are inescapably inherited and instrumentalists argue that they can be cultivated, the debate between these schools of thought does not challenge the fact that ethnic conflicts and conflicts in plural societies involve groups who consciously, or subconsciously, emphasize their identities. Tatu Vanhanen points out that “[o]ld religious cleavages have… produced ethnic groups because religious communities are usually endogamous.” This is because group members consistently marry within their groups, thus preserving the integrity of their often multifaceted group identities. Raymond Basch similarly observes that languages that define population segments are “used in the political arena to direct the state’s attention to certain groups.” Fredrick Barth argued that “the [cultural] features that are taken into account” as elements of group identity “are not the sum of ‘objective’ differences, but only those which the actors themselves regard as significant.” Francisco Gil-White observes that Barth’s idea that “ethnies are in the first instance collections of individuals sharing a common self-ascription” has become “accepted by all” who study these areas. The extent to which ethnicity and ethnic conflicts are widely considered to be very closely related to the other forms of diversity included in Lijphart’s notion of plural societies indicates that it is appropriate to consider conclusions regarding plural societies to be relevant to societies experiencing ethnic conflict. The lack of focus in definitions of ethnicity on ideological differences, compared to those involving ethnicity, race, language, religion, and culture, provides further confirmation that it is justifiable to omit ideological differences from the concept of plural societies to be quantitatively explored. For the identification of countries which would benefit from consociation, the most crucially important element of Lijphart’s definition of plural societies is intergroup polarization and antagonism so diversity alone does not make them plural. Comparison of the concepts of ethnic divisiveness and plural societies indicates that they reflect very similar conditions involving forms of group identity which are generally regarded to be virtually unchangeable and their contribution to intergroup alienation. The strong resemblance between these concepts suggests that conclusions arrived at concerning one of them should be applicable to both. Research concerning communal identity confirms the appropriateness of treating conclusions regarding plural societies as also relevant to those experiencing ethnic conflict. The comparability of conditions in these societies is emphasized by politically related uses of the term, “communal” group. As early as 1908, the term was used to describe potentially and actually antagonistic religious groups in India (OED). Nordlinger similarly presented “communal divisions” as something very akin to the definitions of plural societies and ethnicity described above. He explains that communal divisions “refer to ascriptive criteria, including racial tribal, religious, linguistic, and ethnic differences.” Victor Le Vine observes that “most visible ethnic groups are also communal groups” because the “principal structural characteristic” of community is “the maintenance of a volume of social transactions sufficient to maintain and reinforce the elements of individual and collective identity.” Fox’s terminological choices imply that “communal” and “ethnicity” are the same and Gurr explains that, in his landmark study, “[c]ommunal groups… are also referred to as ethnic groups, minorities, and peoples.” Tarja Väyrynen believes that ethnicity is “nothing but a form of communality, ethnic communality, which is based on certain features (e.g. language, religion, common history, race, ancestors)…” The attributes which define ethnic groups and Lijphart’s segments in plural societies are almost indistinguishable from those which mainstream political science uses to identify communal groups. Comparison of Lijphart’s and others’ discussions of plural societies and those divided by ethnic and other group conflicts further demonstrates the advisability of considering findings concerning these situations to be highly relevant to each other. However, it must also be kept in mind that the cases for this statistical analysis were chosen through careful consideration of the precise definition of plural societies that has been identified through close analysis of Lijphart’s work and only confirmed through reference to other sources. Exploration of the relationship between plural societies and ethnic and communal conflicts emphasizes their similarity to one another and further emphasizes the appropriateness of the definition of plural societies to be used quantitatively to examine consociation. The phenomenon described in this definition constitutes the most accurate representation of the sort of societies for which Lijphart prescribes consociation as a means of promoting stability. The statistical cases to be analyzed will thus correspond to those societies which are clearly divided into groups whose members’ collective actions reflect the obvious existence of cleavages corresponding to religion, language, culture, ethnicity, and/or race. While this book focuses on studying the role of consociation in plural societies, the close resemblance between plural societies and those divided by ethnic conflict suggests that its findings should be considered relevant to both.