Non-territorial autonomy is an unusual method of government based on the notion of the devolution of power to entities within the state which exercise jurisdiction over a population defined by personal features (such as opting for a particular ethnic nationality) rather than by geographical location (such as the region in which they live). Developed theoretically by Karl Renner in the early twentieth century as a mechanism for responding to demands for self-government from dispersed minorities within the Austro-Hungarian empire, it had earlier roots in the Ottoman empire, and later formed the basis for constitutional experiments in Estonia, in Belgium, and in states with sizeable but dispersed minorities. More recently, efforts have been made to apply it in respect of indigenous communities. This approach to the management of ethnic conflict has attracted a small literature, but there is no comprehensive overview of its application. The intention of this volume is to fill this gap, for the first time offering a comparative assessment of the significance of this political institutional device. Authors of case studies follow a common framework.
This book was published as a special issue of Ethnopolitics.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Dispersed Minorities and Non-Territorial Autonomy The Ottoman Millet System: Non-Territorial Autonomy and its Contemporary Legacy Habsburg Austria: Experiments in Non-Territorial Autonomy Jews and Non-Territorial Autonomy: Political Programmes and Historical Perspectives Estonia: A Model for Inter-War Europe? Belgium and the Brussels Question: The Role of Non-Territorial Autonomy The Sámi: 25 Years of Indigenous Authority in Norway New Zealand Maori: The Quest for Indigenous Autonomy Conclusion: Patterns of Non-Territorial Autonomy
John Coakley is Professor of Politics at Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland, and Professor Emeritus at University College Dublin, Ireland
'Non-territorial Autonomy in Divided Societies can be taken as a first step in the study of non-territorial forms of autonomy and may therefore serve as an extensive introduction for academics who are approaching a new field of research: it poses questions and draws methods of evaluation; it brings back to the front an unfairly neglected field of research; and, finally, it lays the groundwork for a much-needed revival of the topic.'
Mattia Zaba, School of International Studies of the University of Trento