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Plurinational Democracy in a Post-Sovereign Order


  • Michael Keating


Globalization and European integration have encouraged the re-emergence of nationalisms within established states. At the same time they have provided new means of addressing the issue in a form of political order beyond the sovereign nation state. Recent historiographical approaches have questioned the teleology of state history and pointed to other paths to modernization, liberalism and democracy, based on shared authority and mixed sovereignty. In the stateless nations of the United Kingdom, Spain, Belgium and Canada, nationalist leaders have increasingly eschewed separatism in favour of seeking a place within the new complex systems of multi-level government. States are have responded to varying degrees with forms of asymmetrical government, recognizing their plurinational nature. Within the developing European order, state sovereignty is questioned and concepts of legal and constitutional pluralism increasingly deployed. Europe also separates national citizenship from human rights, disperses functional power and provides a range of opportunities for stateless nations to act without assuming the burdens of statehood. Within this transformed sovereignty, nationality claims may be treated as a form of normal politics, rather than as zero-sum claims immune to compromise.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Keating, 2002. "Plurinational Democracy in a Post-Sovereign Order," Queen's Papers on Europeanisation p0023, Queens University Belfast.
  • Handle: RePEc:erp:queens:p0023

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    Nation-state; nationality; minorities; sovereignty;

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