Revision with unchanged content. Democratization in Eastern Europe prompted warnings about the risks of the process for the many multi-ethnic countries of the region. Yet, the Yugoslav tragedy remains the exception rather than the rule in understanding interethnic relations. This work analyzes post-communist Romania and Slovakia, two multi-ethnic countries that have steered clear of interethnic violence despite the absence of institutions specially designed to manage interethnic relations, despite the exclusion of ethnic minorities from government and despite quasi-majoritarian political environments. In the two studied cases, interethnic opposition coalitions resulted from the adoption of basic democratic political institutions, which constrained actors across the ethnic divide to cooperate. More broadly, this work questions the notion that multiethnic countries are unlikely candidates for peaceful democratization and suggests that as long as participation in democratic processes, either in government or in opposition, is possible for ethnic minorities, violent conflict can be averted. The argument is of interest to both scholars of conflict and peace studies and to policy makers involved in conflict prevention.