Constitutional Approaches to Diversity: Analysing Integrative and Disintegrative Aspects of Constitutional Mechanisms

Managing ethnic, racial, religious and linguistic diversity is one of the unsolved challenges of modern times. The nature of diversity varies from country to country. These identities are politically salient in some countries, and conflicts based on these identities are ubiquitous. One mechanism that such states use to manage identity-based conflicts is constitutional designs that mainly involve federalism. The contributions of different constitutional mechanisms and theories to reducing identity-based conflicts will become very clear when their integrative and disintegrative attributes are identified and investigated. The result of this investigation will inform us of the impacts of various forms of constitutional design on managing identity-based conflict. This paper investigates the integrative and disintegrative aspects of constitutional mechanisms, theories and principles, such as federalism, consociationalism, centripetalism taking the nature of identity politics into account.