There is a growing literature on what political settlements are to be adopted in deeply divided (or post-conflict) societies and in protracted intra-state conflicts. These societies share the common characteristics of being divided by diverse ethnic lines based on opposing demands for security, power, status, and territory. The concept of consociationalism, which was introduced to political science by Arend Ljphart and first employed in the Netherlands in 1917, is a form of government that provides political stability in deeply divided societies through guaranteed group representation, power-sharing arrangements and functioning democratic institutions. The political settlements in divided societies and consociationalism together are increasingly becoming an autonomous subject of study. A burgeoning literature is emerging and political scientists are attempting to delineate and determine the main characteristics of this field.