The Uncomfortable Balance between a Minority and a People: The Global/Local Disconnect

in International Journal on Minority and Group Rights
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The legitimacy of secessionist movements has emerged as an important debate, while the protection of minorities within a democracy has become merely of peripheral interest to international law. My project suggests that the advent of universalized (minority) rights re-conceptualized the majority-minority relationship and its balance, reducing the possibilities of political processes to balance the relationship. What was construed as a redress for dichotomous relationships between the oppressor and the oppressed through (the right to) self-determination, became a discourse between minority (identity) rights and a democratic entitlement, post-colonially. These norms universalized a demand to rethink minority protection, no longer from the perspective of advantaged and disadvantaged; rather, to introduce perspectives of individuals polarized around a personal characteristic in their identity thus establishing/reinforcing the inferiority of their identity within the hierarchy.