The Meaning of ‘(Non-)Territoriality’
Three institutional forms of non-territorial autonomy (NTA) are presented as possible mechanisms of governance: personal autonomy, functional autonomy, and national cultural autonomy. National cultural autonomy is singled out for a more detailed study against the backdrop of Bauer and Renner’s theories, looking particularly at Estonia, Finland, and Serbia. Because territorial autonomy is clearly more common as a form of organization, different non-territorial forms of autonomy have remained in the sidelines. The need to tailor-make each solution means that setting up non-territorial forms of autonomy is probably perceived as difficult, complex, and arduous. Therefore, and somewhat unjustifiably, the category of NTA is commonly populated by examples of national cultural autonomy. If NTA is set up, such institutions should not become vehicles of symbolism and of façade participation, but be tasked with realistic functions and the necessary public power for the promotion of, inter alia, the linguistic rights of minorities.
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