In Search of an Alternative Perspective on Minority Rights and Minority Group Formation: Re-politicizing Non-territorial Autonomy

  • Ahmet Murat Aytaç
  • Zafer Yılmaz
Part of the Comparative Territorial Politics book series (COMPTPOL)


The word autonomy is undoubtedly key in almost all contemporary democratic formulations, which aim to protect the territorial integrity and attempt to overcome ethnic conflicts in the modern world. However, in spite of the increasing significance of the term, a micropolitical aspect of the notion, individual freedom, has been mainly neglected. To fill this gap, this paper aims to underline the insights of the concept of non-territorial autonomy (NTA), which activates and re-politicizes the social actors deactivated and depoliticized through culturalist definitions of the group. To highlight the counters of a more emancipatory and egalitarian conception of NTA, the paper proposes the reformulation of collective rights on the grounds of empowerment of individual freedom and the political activation of minority groups. In that context, it provides analysis of historical examples of NTA and traditional and local solutions like the “millet system” in order to shed light on the limits of and insights into NTA for solving the problems of modern societies.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ahmet Murat Aytaç
    • 1
  • Zafer Yılmaz
    • 2
  1. 1.Independent AcademicianAnkaraTurkey
  2. 2.Potsdam UniversityPotsdamGermany

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