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Liberal Critique of the Minority Rights’ Concept

Migracijske i Etniĉke Teme. 2010;26(1):27-47


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Journal Title: Migracijske i Etniĉke Teme

ISSN: 1333-2546 (Print); 1848-9184 (Online)

Publisher: Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies

LCC Subject Category: Political science: Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration

Country of publisher: Croatia

Language of fulltext: Russian, Croatian, French, Serbian, English

Full-text formats available: PDF



Filip Majetić (Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar, Zagreb, Croatia)


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 25 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Controversies regarding the minority rights’ concept within liberal theory are opening up a debate in the political and academic communities of the Western democracies. Minority rights are discussed from the point of view of liberalism since it is more hospitable as a theory than conservatism and socialism, and due to the fact that it defines political morals in those countries. The aim of this article is to offer answers to some of the debate’s key questions. Should the liberals accept the model of universal individual rights combined with special minority rights within the liberal concept of social justice, founded on the principle of individual equality? Is a generalized, “non-discriminative” concept, such as the Western democracies’ key for fair treatment of ethno-cultural issues, really fair? Where are the limits of liberal tolerance set, and can liberalism be the cultures’ intersection point? By analyzing the opposed positions of various significant liberal theoreticians about the afore-mentioned and other issues, this article points to the questionable consistency of liberal critique of national and ethnic minority rights on the level of political legitimacy whilst this question remains open on the theoretical stage.