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This paper addresses questions about the socio-legal context and mainstream political theories of the peripheral nation-building strategies behind the Ausgleich [viz. the Compromise] and the British North America Act of Canada, both entered into force in 1867. The importance of this research for contemporary political theorizing lies in the fact that at the outset the vocabulary of nationalism was developed in Central-Eastern Europe, and universalised by the new Canadian political science during the last decades of the twentieth century. The paper tackles the issue of the parallel vernacular national-building strategies as common denominators of Austria–Hungary and Canada as they came up in the Eastern-Central European region as well as in the North-American political community in statu nascendi, in order to determine that multicultural part of them which may be universal, and therefore available for both multi-ethnic countries. Although the Ausgleich neither substantiated the multicultural political philosophy nor restricted seriously the Hungarian self-determination, there is widespread disagreement about whether as such it was an expedient means to dismantle the nationalism in the Central-Eastern European region. The paper will maintain that the federalist idea was not applied entirely in Canada in 1867 and even less in the dual state of Austria–Hungary. It appears that nations’ rights as group rights rest on a demonstrable link between particular peoples, their traditional territories, and their living, land-based ethno-cultures in both regions of the world. Given that the Dual Monarchy collapsed after half a century, and given that the splintering was one of the direct and indirect causes of both the First and the Second World Wars, the Eastern-Central European way of dealing constitutionally with the multi-ethnic challenge is usually filed under ‘F’ for ‘Fiasco’. By contrast, ever since the BNA Act came into force, leaving aside for a moment the devastating effects of colonization on the First Nations population, the Canadian model has been one of the most attractive examples of how constitutional design can accommodate competing nation-building agendas within a single state. When exploring these fascinating stories of Canadian and Austro-Hungarian public laws and political theories, this paper will also develop a critical argument that the ethnic/civic distinction is unable to make evident the difference between the two countries in a comparative scrutiny.
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DOI 10.1007/s11196-020-09736-3
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Pure Theory of Law.Hans Kelsen - 1967 - Lawbook Exchange.
Multicultural Citizenship: A Liberal Theory of Minority Rights.Will Kymlicka - 1997 - Philosophical Quarterly 47 (187):250-253.

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