The principal aim of this book is to revisit the basic theme of “unity and diversity” that remains at the heart of research into federalism and federation. It is time to take another look at its contemporary relevance to ascertain how far the bifocal relationship between unity and diversity has evolved over the years and has been translated into changing conceptual lenses, practical reform proposals and in some cases new institutional practices. This book is structured around four main parts: (1) the evolving conception of diversity over time and across continents; (2) the interplay between unity and diversity in complex settings; (3) federalism as decision-making and new institutional practices that have been put forward and tested; and (4) constitutional design and asymmetrical federalism as a way to respond to legitimate and insisting claims and political demands. The book closes with a sharp prospective look under the pen of Michael Burgess, a foremost student of federalism who has contributed like no one else to advance the federal spirit both in the United Kingdom and internationally.
Changing Concepts, Reform Proposals and New Institutional Realities
Special Focus on Local and Indigenous Communities
The Human and Societal Security in the Circumpolar Arctic: Special Focus on Local and Indigenous Communities addresses a comprehensive understanding of security in the Arctic, with a particular focus on one of its sub-regions – the Barents region. The book presents a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective to which the Arctic is placed as referent, and special attention is paid to the viewpoint of local and indigenous communities. Overarching topics of human and societal security are touched upon from various angles and disciplinary approaches, The discussions are framed in the broader context of security studies. The volume specifically addresses the challenges facing the Arctic population which are important to be looked at from human security perspectives.
Proposals for Reform
The People’s Republic of Bangladesh is centrally located in South Asia and is one of the eight countries that constitute the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC). In 2010, the South Asian Institute of Legal and Human Rights Studies in Dhaka (SAILS) initiated the ‘Combating Gender Injustice’ research study to investigate how the Christian, Hindu and Muslim communities in the country are affected by the laws and customs governing their personal lives. The aim was to engage in a dialogue with the stakeholders the results of which would provide a basis to formulate recommendations for law, policy and procedural reform. These reports have been reproduced in this volume in updated and revised form. Moroever, in order to offer a more complete overview of the ethnic and religious minorities concerned, a chapter has been added on the personal laws of the Buddhist community, the third largest religious community in Bangladesh. Finally, the volume offers much needed information on the laws and customs of the Indigenous Peoples of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, communities following traditional rules and customs in the remote and hilly region of the country. The gender-sensitive personal laws prevalent in South Asian societies will continue to be debated for generations to come. This unique volume gives a voice to the different religious communities affected by the current laws and practices in force in Bangladesh. The reader will find an overview and gain understanding of the legal issues that need to be addressed in each case.
Between Collective Enforcement of Human Rights and International Dispute Settlement
The Inter-State Application under the European Convention on Human Rights provides the first comprehensive monograph about the State-to-State human rights enforcement mechanism. The functions of the mechanism include also dispute settlement aspects, which are related to the compulsory jurisdiction of the Strasbourg Court. The study provides a full account of the development of the Inter-State Application under Article 33 ECHR and puts its case law in the relevant historical and institutional context. The analysis concludes with detailed reform considerations which are situated within the discussion about the role of the European Court of Human Rights. The focus lies on the possibility to address and improve systemic human rights deficits beyond the single case. The Court’s growing inter-State docket evidences the need for legal certainty.
Language policy can promote stability. For many individuals and groups, language is a key component of identity, and threats to it can raise tensions. Respect for linguistic rights, whilst also considering a state’s need to maintain cohesion, reduces conflict potential. The OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities promotes functional solutions to such contentious issues, and the Oslo Recommendations regarding the Linguistic Rights of National Minorities address these challenges. This book analyses the components of a balanced legal and policy framework on language use, with a view to preventing conflict. In addition to reviewing the work of the OSCE HCNM in this area, it also draws upon the expertise of other international organisations and leading academics working in this field.