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date: 23 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

It has often been noted that the political claims of minorities and indigenous peoples are marginalized within traditional state-centric international political theory; but perhaps more surprisingly, they are also marginalized within much contemporary cosmopolitan political theory. In this chapter, I will argue that neither cosmopolitanism nor statism as currently theorized is well equipped to evaluate the normative claims at stake in many minority rights issues. I begin by discussing how the “minority question” arose as an issue within international relations—that is, why minorities have been seen as a problem and a threat to international order—and how international actors have historically attempted to contain the problem, often in ways that were deeply unjust to minorities. I will then consider recent efforts to advance a pro-minority agenda at the international level, and how this agenda helps reveal some of the limits of both cosmopolitan and statist approaches to IPT.

Keywords: minority rights, cosmopolitanism, nationalism, indigenous peoples, security, human rights

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