IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

“Old” Natives and “New” Immigrants: Beyond Territory and History in Kymlicka's Account of Group-Rights


  • Darian Heim

    () (Law Department and GRITIM, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain)


According to Will Kymlicka, only historically and territorially bound “national” groups can engage in a “nation-building” process. Recently arrived immigrant groups cannot as they have neither been able nor willing to do so. The paper argues, first, that such empirical facts are insufficient for the normative conclusions Kymlicka defends; and second, that if his ultimate goal is to achieve better “terms of integration” for immigrants, he cannot deny them the right to attempt their own “nation-building”. As an illustration, the paper describes Kymlicka's own thought-experiment of Chinese immigrants in Canada pursuing a nation-building-process analogous to the Québécois. It explores how criteria for advocating group rights other than history and territory – desert, participation, or need –avoid treating old and new minorities in an arbitrarily asymmetric manner.

Suggested Citation

  • Darian Heim, 2016. "“Old” Natives and “New” Immigrants: Beyond Territory and History in Kymlicka's Account of Group-Rights," Migration Letters, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 13(2), pages 214-227, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:mig:journl:v:13:y:2016:i:2:p:214-227

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mig:journl:v:13:y:2016:i:2:p:214-227. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (I. Sirkeci). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.