The Introduction takes as its starting point the state-of-the-art of non-territorial autonomy (NTA) research with regard to conceptualization. It argues that the lack of clarity and accuracy in defining NTA derives from the fact that institutional descriptions are missing from the academic literature. This fact is due in part to the approaches to NTA studies that have dominated the field for decades. While the securitization of minority issues has dictated a top-down approach, the more recent justice discourse in terms of minority rights protection has maintained that approach by focusing on international organizations. Thus, the rigid attention to the macro level has limited knowledge production to aspects of state- and nation-building rather than statecraft. Drawing on Lapidoth, who in 1997 argued that without self-regulating institutions autonomy does not exist, the Introduction provides a brief overview, albeit not an exhaustive list, of relevant institutions whose purpose is to support NTA implementation.
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