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date: 24 March 2018

Abstract and Keywords

What rights do nations have to govern themselves and to control specific territories and the people living on these territories? What limits are there on these rights and on the activities of national communities and their political leaders? What projects can be justified primarily by appeals to the interests and identities of nations? A well-reasoned answer to these questions could be called a normative theory of national autonomy or national self-determination, which in turn is a central part of a normative theory of nationalism. It would be an understatement to note that political philosophers are far from any consensus about the broad content of a theory of national autonomy. Almost every central concept in, and assumption underlying, the above questions is contested. There are disputes about what nations are, or even if there are such things as nations.

Keywords: national autonomy, national communities, political leaders, normative theory, political philosophy, nationalism

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