This book provides new insights into the negotiation and management of diversity in complex democratic settings. Much debate has been generated recently over questions of human rights and dignity with the aim of empowering and improving the recognition of smaller nations. The book's central idea is that respect for democracy and protection of human rights represent the most potent ways for the advancement and enrichment of cultural, ideological and legal pluralism. The pursuit and accomplishment of such objectives can only be achieved through negotiation that leads to the accommodation and empowerment of minority groups and nations. Negotiating Diversity brings into dialogue political scientists, philosophers and jurists, and enriches a major discussion launched some years back by Yael Tamir's Liberal Nationalism, Alain-G. Gagnon and James Tully's Multinational Democracies, as well as Wayne Norman's Negotiating Nationalism, and Will Kymlicka's Multicultural Citizenship.
The controversial issue of secession has received little attention from experts of federalism. The best federal studies either evade it or dismiss it in a few lines. However, the issue of secession has been present throughout the history of federations. This book is one of the first to explore the complex relationship between federalism and secession.
The authors whose work is presented here recognize the potential of federalism as a way to organize relations between several different states, peoples, nations or territories under the same government. However, they are not naïve or idealist about the ability of the federal idea to succeed in the complex situations in which it is applied. In some cases success seems assured (the United States, Switzerland, Germany, etc.), and the merits of federalism can be showcased. But there are also failures (the former Yugoslavia, or more recently Brexit) and semi-failures that have generated turbulence in recent years in devolutive systems (Scotland in the United Kingdom, Catalonia in Spain) or federative systems (Québec in Canada).
This book provides a nuanced portrait of the issue of secession in federal contexts and lays the groundwork for questioning the still too fragile legacy of the great thinkers of federalism.
La construction de démocraties de plus en plus complexes en termes nationaux et culturels constitue un des défis majeurs que doivent relever les démocraties libérales. Celles-ci se voient sans cesse remises en question sur les plans politique et constitutionnel par les nations minoritaires qui les façonnent. Tiraillées entre des impératifs de stabilité et de justice, les nations majoritaires et minoritaires misent sur des modèles de pluralisme national concurrents. La Catalogne et le Québec sont à cet égard des exemples paradigmatiques. Le présent ouvrage explore les parcours historiques et les défis que doivent relever la Catalogne et le Québec : deux nations qui ne disposent pas encore de tous les outils nécessaires à leur pleine émancipation nationale et qui, conséquemment, exigent de leur État multinational respectif une pleine reconnaissance et un juste accommodement de leur personnalité nationale distincte.