Beyond the Illusion of Ethno-culturally Homogeneous Territory
What are the most topical questions concerning territorial autonomy (TA) and non-territorial autonomy (NTA) from a conceptual, historical, and comparative perspective? This chapter explores these questions and assesses their implications for contemporary practices of self-government. First, the chapter examines the complicated nexus between diversity, autonomy, and (non-)territoriality. In doing so, it points out the strengths and inherent shortcomings of both TA and NTA in accommodating diversity. Following this, the chapter uncovers the historical evolution of autonomy in relation to the modern multinational state and sovereignty as one of its defining characteristics; and then examines contemporary practices of TA and NTA in different parts of the world. Pointing to the nature of autonomy arrangements as political bargains, the chapter analyses the influence of five main factors on whether and how autonomy is put into practice and the specific constellations of TA and/or NTA, which these bargains give rise to.
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