The Challenge of Non-Territorial Autonomy

Theory and Practice

by Ephraim Nimni (Volume editor) Alexander Osipov (Volume editor) David Smith (Volume editor)
©2013 Edited Collection XXX, 258 Pages
Series: Nationalisms across the Globe, Volume 13


This book explores and evaluates non-territorial autonomy (NTA), an important modality of ethnic and religious diversity management. Whereas multicultural liberal democracies sincerely champion equality and individual human rights, they often have considerable difficulty in accommodating culturally diverse minority communities. In most cases, minority communities do not reside within a compact space, making any territorial representation impossible. This brings into focus modalities of NTA as a possible alternative approach. NTA takes a variety of different forms, such as consociationalism or national cultural autonomy, and also encompasses other forms of representation, such as frameworks for accommodating indigenous peoples, juridical autonomy extended to religious communities, or elements of some models of multiculturalism. Using both theoretical and empirical approaches, and also including the work of legal practitioners, the essays within this volume examine the challenges and possible solutions offered by different NTA models for the effective participation of minorities in public life, addressing issues such as the limits and/or possibilities of implementing NTA models in liberal democracies, the extent to which NTA approaches can serve the goals of European integration and the European minority protection framework, and the possible role of NTA in resolving protracted territorial conflicts.


XXX, 258
ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2013 (September)
communities diversity human rights
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2013. XXX, 258 pp., 8 tables, 1 b/w fig.

Biographical notes

Ephraim Nimni (Volume editor) Alexander Osipov (Volume editor) David Smith (Volume editor)

Ephraim Nimni is Reader in Nationalism and Conflict Resolution in the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy at Queen’s University Belfast and Ikerbasque Visiting Professor at the University of the Basque Country. He has published widely on national cultural autonomy, post-Zionism and minority rights, including National Cultural Autonomy and its Contemporary Critics (2005). Alexander Osipov started his scholarly career in Russia, specializing in history, law and anthropology. Currently he is Senior Research Associate at the European Centre for Minority Issues (Flensburg, Germany) where he heads the cluster ‘Justice and Governance’. His publications include National Cultural Autonomy: Ideas, Decisions, Institutions (2004). David J. Smith is Professor of Baltic History and Politics at the University of Glasgow, Docent in the History of Nationalism and Ethnicity at Turku University and Researcher at the Uppsala Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies. His numerous publications on NTA include Ethnic Diversity and the Nation State (2012, with John Hiden).


Title: The Challenge of Non-Territorial Autonomy