pillarization(translation of Dutch verzuiling) a stable vertical division of society in which patterns of political organization, including trade unions as well as political parties, are determined by religious or linguistic affiliations which substantially
override or cross-cut horizontal class divisions (compare SOCIAL STRATIFICATION). In Holland, where separate Calvinist, Roman Catholic, and secular organizations exist in many spheres of life, this pattern of social organization has become highly institutionalized, the basis of a ‘segmented integration’ and shared political power. Elsewhere, however, e.g. the Lebanon and Northern Ireland, pillarization has often been associated with instability and the failure of power-sharing. See also POLITICAL CLEAVAGE, STABLE DEMOCRACY.