Minority Nations in the Age of Uncertainty: New Paths to National Emancipation and Empowerment

University of Toronto Press
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For thirty years, Alain-G. Gagnon has been one of the world’s leading experts on federalism and multinational democracies. In Minority Nations in the Age of Uncertainty, he presents an articulate and accessible introduction to the ways in which minority nations have begun to empower themselves in a global environment that is increasingly hostile to national minorities.

Comparing conditions in Quebec, Catalonia, and Scotland, Gagnon offers six interrelated essays on national minorities, processes of accommodation, and autonomy and self-determination within a modern democratic context. Based on a long career of scholarly study and public engagement, he argues that self-determination for these “nations without states” is best achieved through intercultural engagement and negotiation within the federal system, rather than through independence movements.

Already translated into fifteen languages from the original French, Minority Nations in the Age of Uncertainty is an essential text on the theory of multinational federalism and the politics of minority nations.This edition also features a foreword by noted political scientist and philosopher James Tully that discusses the significance of Gagnon's work.

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About the author

Alain-G. Gagnon holds the Canada Research Chair in Québec and Canadian Studies in the Department of Political Science at UQAM. He is author of Minority Nations in the Age of Uncertainty (2014), which has been translated into 18 languages.

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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Toronto Press
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Published on
Sep 24, 2014
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Pages
176
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ISBN
9781442621268
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / American Government / State
Political Science / Comparative Politics
Political Science / General
Political Science / World / Canadian
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This content is DRM protected.
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"The best American political autobiography since Barack Obama’s Dreams from My Father." —Charles Kaiser, The Guardian

A mayor’s inspirational story of a Midwest city that has become nothing less than a blueprint for the future of American renewal.

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Elected at twenty-nine as the nation’s youngest mayor, Pete Buttigieg immediately recognized that “great cities, and even great nations, are built through attention to the everyday.” As Shortest Way Home recalls, the challenges were daunting—whether confronting gun violence, renaming a street in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., or attracting tech companies to a city that had appealed more to junk bond scavengers than serious investors. None of this is underscored more than Buttigieg’s audacious campaign to reclaim 1,000 houses, many of them abandoned, in 1,000 days and then, even as a sitting mayor, deploying to serve in Afghanistan as a Navy officer. Yet the most personal challenge still awaited Buttigieg, who came out in a South Bend Tribune editorial, just before being reelected with 78 percent of the vote, and then finding Chasten Glezman, a middle-school teacher, who would become his partner for life.

While Washington reels with scandal, Shortest Way Home, with its graceful, often humorous, language, challenges our perception of the typical American politician. In chronicling two once-unthinkable stories—that of an Afghanistan veteran who came out and found love and acceptance, all while in office, and that of a revitalized Rust Belt city no longer regarded as “flyover country”—Buttigieg provides a new vision for America’s shortest way home.

Throughout the world, liberal-democracies are grappling with increasing claims made in the name of minority national, socio-cultural and ethno-cultural identities that seek greater recognition in the institutions of the nation-state. This work inserts itself into debates centred on diversity through a normative and empirical analytical assessment of the political sociology of multinational democracies. The main thread of the arguments put forward is that federalism, in both its institutional manifestations and its sociological properties, constitutes a promising avenue for the management of cohabitating political communities and for the affirmation of collective identities within states that are constituted by two or more nations.

Author Alain-G Gagnon develops his argument by contending that the federal principle allows for the exercise of advanced democratic practices within nation-states, permitting internal nations to openly affirm the bases of adherence to a common political project. At the same time, he argues that federalism nourishes the development of distinct collective traditions that serve to benefit all parties to the association. It is concluded that only in such a scenario will the elusive pursuit of an authentic and shared loyalty underpin multination states and ensure their stability, in contrast to the instrumental sentiments of belonging engendered by procedural territorial federal models.

Focusing primarily on the Canadian case, this book also draws inspiration from other federal states (Belgium, the United States), as well as federalizing states (Spain, the United Kingdom). It will be of keen interest to students and scholars of Politics, European Studies, along with Nationalism and Federalism Studies.

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