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National Minorities and the European Nation-States System$
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Jennifer Jackson Preece

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198294375

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198294375.001.0001

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(p.165) Chapter 9 Conclusion
National Minorities and the European Nation-States System


Oxford University Press

This book shows that national minority rights have always been subservient to national interest and security within states, and to international peace and stability within the society of states. In other words, state sovereignty — the organising principle within and between states — is the trump card in the minority rights game. To summarise the argument which supports this claim, this chapter considers the three questions which were raised in the introduction: why national minorities and considerations regarding their status — which, as substate groups, would initially appear to be subjects of domestic rather than international politics — are recurring features of European treaties, conferences, and organisations from 1919 onwards; how, and more importantly, why has the formulation of minority rights changed over time; what these changes suggest about the theory and practice of Europe’s nation-states system.

Keywords:   Europe, national minorities, minority rights, treaties, nation-states system, state sovereignty

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