Premised on elite accommodation, consociations provide little consideration for citizens’ input on institutional change. Likewise, valuable analyses of cross-community political participation in divided societies have emerged in recent years, yet whether the relationship between the grassroot and formal political process has broader consequences remains to be fully explored. The paper examines the conditions in which nonelectoral participation takes place and the ways in which actors involved therein negotiate constraints for continuous cross-community mobilization. The structure of political system and the nature of deep divisions in Northern Ireland and Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina invite a comparison of the consequences of nonelectoral political participation in these two illustrative case studies. The paper concludes that while the formal political context shapes the likelihood of engagement on cross-community basis, whether nonelectoral participation changes the structure of political decision-making depends on the willingness and ability of those involved to cooperate with formal institutional politics.