In the Name of Equality— An Examination of Equality Arguments for National Self-Government

In Hsin-Wen Lee & Sungmoon Kim (eds.), Reimaging Nation and Nationalism in Multicultural East Asia. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 36-56 (2018)
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Both Kymlicka and Patten argue that the equal treatment of different national groups require that the state officially recognize the right of each to create its own autonomous government. After carefully examining their arguments, I show that they both make the false assumption that, in a multinational state, the state belongs only to the majority group but not the minority, and that a multination state can never treat minority groups equally. Both claims are inherently anti-pluralistic. Thus, the equal treatment of different national cultures does not require that each be granted the right to self-government.

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Hsin-Wen Lee
University of Delaware


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