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Minority Rights: Between Diversity and Community

Minority Rights: Between Diversity and Community

Jennifer Jackson Preece

ISBN: 978-0-745-62395-5

Dec 2005, Polity

196 pages

In Stock



The question of minority rights is one of the great dilemmas of contemporary politics. Increases in the flow of immigrants, migrants and refugees have raised public concerns that greater cultural and ethnic diversity creates instability within nation-states. But does stability really require homogeneity? Or can it be maintained in the presence of different minority groups?

In this path-breaking book, Jackson Preece analyses whether traditional minority rights theory is sufficiently dynamic to inform effective responses to modern challenges. The central premise behind minority rights is that groups recognized and supported by the political community are far less likely to challenge its authority or threaten its territorial integrity. However, as Jackson Preece shows, the potential for collisions of values and interests still exists, and the possibility of a permanent solution to the problem of diversity remains illusive.

Minority Rights will be an indispensable resource for students and scholars of political science, international relations, law, and sociology.


List of Abbreviations.

1. Understanding the ‘Problem Minorities.

2. Religion.

3. Race.

4. Language.

5. Ethnicity.

6. Beyond the ‘Problem of Minorities’?.

Appendix A: Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging.

to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities.

Appendix B: Selected Documents.



"An agile and gripping work which adroitly moves from the evolution of church-state relations to political philosophy, international relations theory to affirmative action and finally to the development of international society in the twentieth century."
Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism

"This is an important book. At a time when western societies are becoming increasingly polarised between those who urge the virtues of milticulturalism and those who fear that our values are being undermined and our security threatened by the presence of minorities, we badly need a careful and clear-headed appraisal of minority rights and the dilemmas that they pose. Jennifer Jackson Preece is to be congratulated on providing us with just such an account."
James Mayall, University of Cambridge

  • Offer a concise introduction to this controversial and growing area of study and debate.

  • Explores the ways in which minorities are constructed through religion, race, language and ethnicity.

  • Draws on a range of contemporary examples from across the world.

  • Brings a uniquely rich and varied experience to bear on contemporary debates about how minorities may be accommodated in modern politics.