Edited By Martin Belov
Justice, Territory, and National Minorities: Critical Assessments
The rights of national minorities as territorially homogenous sizeable groups can be protected by means of two seemingly contradictory sets of techniques. One of these techniques uses the principle of the territoriality and the other is based on the personality principle. Both techniques can be traced back to the political-legal discourse of the declining Austro-Hungarian Empire and the rising Germany. Notably the idea of the territorially based nation-state as a normative methodological construction was clearly expressed by the famous three-elements definition of Georg Jellinek. Simultaneously the idea of the non-territorial cultural autonomy was born thanks to Otto Bauer and Karl Renner. These techniques of protection had extremely important impacts on the nation-building strategies in the Central European countries and these theories have their own renaissance today. This is especially true for Will Kymlicka, the Canadian scholar, who, on the basis of a slightly modified theory of John Rawls rejected the personality principle as a unique solution for the difficulties in the Central European countries and suggested instead a theory of the multicultural citizenship. In the present study I am paying particular attention to the apparent contradiction between the bases of the different means of the protection, namely, the territory as a fact and the justice as a normative claim. I will try to show not only that this contradiction is not an essential one because “territory of the state” is rather a social construction and part of the national identity than a physical-geographical (material) datum...
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