Minority Self-Government in Europe and the Middle East

From Theory to Practice


This volume, Minority Self-Government in Europe and the Middle East: From Theory to Practice, is novel from several perspectives. It combines theory with facts on the ground, going beyond legal perspectives without neglecting existing laws and their implementation. Theoretical discussions transcend examining existing autonomy models in certain regions. It offers new models in the field, discussing such critical themes as environmentalism. Traditional concepts such as self-determination and well-known successful autonomy examples, including the Åland Islands, Basque and Catalonian models, are examined from different perspectives. Some chapters in this volume focus on certain regions (including Turkey, Syria, and Iraq) which have only recently received scholarly attention. Chapters complement one another in terms of their theoretical inputs and outputs from the field.

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Olgun Akbulut is a constitutional and human rights scholar at Kadir Has University, Faculty of Law. His research interests address human rights, minority rights and comparative constitutional law. He has published in various academic journals both in Turkey and abroad.

Elçin Aktoprak (PhD) was a scholar at the Faculty of Political Sciences, Ankara University, before she was dismissed because of signing a peace petition. Her research interests are theories of nationalism, minority issues in Europe, the Kurdish question and peace studies.

Part 1: Theoretical Perspectives

1 The Right of Self-Determination in International Law
Gudmundur Alfredsson
2 Nations, Territorial Minorities, Democratic Theory and National Self-Determination
Ephraim Nimni
3 The Multiple Paths to Territorial Autonomy: Examples and Conceptual Underpinnings
Sia Spiliopoulou Åkermark
4 Distribution of Legislative Powers in a Sub-state Context – a Comparison of Double Enumerations in Federal and Autonomy Settings
Markku Suksi
5 Autonomous Communities and the Environmental Law: The Basque Case
Daniele Conversi and Xabier Ezeizabarrena

Part 2: European and Middle Eastern Perspectives

6 Territorial Autonomy and Minority Self-Government in Spain: Catalonia and the Basque Country
Eduardo J. Ruiz Vieytez
7 Territorial and Cultural Self-Governance in Italy: Strengths and Challenges of South Tyrol’s Autonomy
Andrea Carlà and Sergiu Constantin
8 Self-Determination, Federalism and Autonomy in the Middle-East
Thomas Schmidinger
9 Democratic Confederalism in Syria: The Nation-State, the Kurds, and International Law
Thomas James Phillips
10 Legal Background of Autonomy Arrangements in Turkey from Historical Perspectives
Olgun Akbulut
11 Unpacking the ‘Democratic Confederalism’ and ‘Democratic Autonomy’: Proposals of Turkey’s Kurdish Movement
Cengiz Gunes

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