This book is part of an expanding literature analyzing the role of asymmetry in the territorial politics of contemporary states. Its specific focus is on special status arrangements. These are grants of formally asymmetrical territorial autonomy to territorially concentrated minority communities. Special status arrangements challenge the modern territorial state and citizenship model, which in its purest form implies a standardized distribution of territorial political authority and equal citizenship rights across a state. Despite these tensions, the governments of a number of states have used special status concessions to accommodate the demands of mobilized, or mobilizeable, minority communities. Special status concessions have been made in both federal and unitary states and those of diverse regime types. They have also been made in societies with distinctive histories and a range of cultural, social, political economy, geopolitical, and other characteristics (see Henders 1997; Steiner 1991; Hannum 1990; Lapidoth 1997; see also Heraclides 1992; Heisler 1990; Laponce 1987). Special status arrangements exist for Quebec in Canada and Scotland in the United Kingdom, in Muslim areas of Mindanao in the Philippines, and the Atlantic coast regions of Nicaragua, to name a few examples.
KeywordsStandardize Distribution Political Dynamic Asymmetrical State Distinctive History Citizenship Model
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