Tove H. Malloy

My professional website

Minority Accommodation through Territorial and Non-Territorial Autonomy

The second book in the Oxford University Press series on non-territorial autonomy (NTA) is out:

Minority Accommodation through Territorial and Non-Territorial Autonomy, edited by Tove H. Malloy and Francesco Palermo

Autonomy as a strategy for accommodation of ethno-cultural diversity in multicultural societies has been a policy tool for over six centuries. Yet, policy-makers remain uncomfortable with it, and political scientists and legal scholars continue to relegate it to the list of ad hoc solutions, only to be pulled out of the drawer when all else fails. The latter may be explained by the hegemonic position of liberal democracy and the individualistic approach to democratic franchise. But the former is due to the position of territory in the modern paradigm of societal organization and state construction. Territory, or the need to hold power over territory, is a main reason for inter-state as well as intra-state conflicts and disputes. The spell of territory on the individual’s mind brings about feelings of homeland, nation, community, belonging, etc. and with it the need to delineate boundaries and exclusive possession. But also allegiance to extraterritorial homelands has caused tension in plural societies. Here the lack of loyalty to the territory of residence seems to cause tension. Either way, many of these disagreements have been settled through autonomy arrangements. Governments have, albeit reluctantly, implemented autonomy in various forms in response to diversity and pluralism with the ultimate goal of securing social and territorial cohesion. From the early notion of the millet system in the Ottoman Empire to the misconstrued notion of national cultural autonomy applied in post-Soviet states, such as Estonia and Russia, autonomy arrangements have been adopted to abate separatism and dissent. Especially during the 20th Century, numerous models of autonomy were implemented. Although autonomy has never attained the rank of an international standard, it has achieved quite a good record globally.


An ECPR standing group

%d bloggers like this: