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Managing Diversity through Non-Territorial AutonomyAssessing Advantages, Deficiencies, and Risks$
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Tove H. Malloy, Alexander Osipov, and Balázs Vizi

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198738459

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198738459.001.0001

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The Sorbian People in Germany

The Sorbian People in Germany

(p.163) 8 The Sorbian People in Germany
Managing Diversity through Non-Territorial Autonomy

Detlev Rein

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses whether non-territorial autonomy can be granted to the Sorbian people according to German law. The Sorbs (numbering about 60,000) are one of the four recognized national minorities in Germany. They are organized in a number of civil society associations, and nearly all of them belong to Domowina, a civil law umbrella organization. Government grants allocated to the Sorbian institutions are distributed via the public law Foundation for the Sorbian People. The concept of establishing a corporation for them under public law is tested under the conditions of German administrative law. The main problem is the discrepancy between the public law principle that all members of a public law corporation of natural persons must be known and the principle of the freedom to manifest or not one’s affiliation to a national minority. Forms of cultural or functional collective autonomy are proposed as a solution.

Keywords:   Sorbian people, Domowina, Foundation Sorbian People, cultural autonomy, non-territorial autonomy, freedom to manifest, German law, functional autonomy

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