Tuesday, March 1, 2022
David Abraham, Group Rights and Individual Minority Rights in Immigrant Societies, Then and Now (2021). Abstract below.
The history of the past century or more suggests that “peoples,” however defined, may have their present and future collective needs realized in one of three ways. They may aspire to their own titular state, self-determination, where they predominate and act collectively; they may rely on the recognition and provision of reliable collective minority rights (with greater or lesser autonomy in a more or less territorially-defined multi-peopled space); or they may advocate for a regime of strong “liberal,” non-discriminatory individual rights for all in which (significantly weakened) collective identities are lodged in the private sphere. Not every option is equally available to all peoples; they face different hurdles as they themselves inevitably evolve over time from disparate starting points and with different strengths and weaknesses. Indigenous minorities, religious minorities, racial minorities, immigrant minorities, etc. will inevitably approach their situations differently from each other and in different concrete situations. Nonetheless, these three patterns –self-determination, guaranteed minority rights, and universalist individual rights—define the terrain on which struggles take place.