Review article: a liberal theory of collective rights

Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 26 (6):986-1003 (2020)
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Abstract

Michel Seymour fills an important gap in Rawlsian theory. In fact, his Rawls inspired normative theory of collective rights is unprecedented. Likewise, his ideal theory of a primary right to internal self-determination (ISD) is a welcome contribution to the issue of collective rights. That said, his non-ideal theory – a remedial right only to secession – seems rather toothless in cases of noncompliance. In particular, Seymour leaves us with no guidance in the case of transition countries and situations of tension where we need to know whether the ISD of the minority (the stateless) people is enabling or disabling for the ISD of the majority (the state owning) people. The paper concludes that borrowing from Aristotle, as Rawls does, offers more in the way of guidance when it comes to these issues.

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Mohammed Ben Jelloun
Stockholm University

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References found in this work

The law of peoples.John Rawls - 1999 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. Edited by John Rawls.
Political Liberalism.J. Rawls - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.
After Virtue.A. MacIntyre - 1981 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 46 (1):169-171.
The Law of Peoples.John Rawls - 1993 - Critical Inquiry 20 (1):36-68.
Why Rawls is Not a Cosmopolitan Egalitarian.Leif Wenar - 2006-01-01 - In Rex Martin & David A. Reidy (eds.), Rawls's Law of Peoples. Blackwell. pp. 95–113.

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