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Constitutional Law and National Pluralism$
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Stephen Tierney

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199298617

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199298617.001.0001

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The Plurinational State: A Normative Challenge

The Plurinational State: A Normative Challenge

(p.46) 3 The Plurinational State: A Normative Challenge
Constitutional Law and National Pluralism


Oxford University Press

Chapter 2 discusses the continued resilience of nationalism and national identity and explores how theorists of nationalism from the liberal tradition have constructed an argument to the effect that sub-state national societies constitute a discrete category of policy. The liberal nationalist argument defended in this first part of the book is that their historical and societal particularity, coupled with the dissatisfaction felt by many sub-state national societies with regard to their current institutional arrangements, entitles these societies to distinctive constitutional accommodation within the host states, in particular, by way of recognition, representation, and autonomy. This chapter develops two additional parts of this argument which build upon the notion of sub-state national societies as a particular type of polity. In constructing this argument, the chapter critiques the failure of traditional liberalism to recognize the role played by sub-state national societies in the lives of their members, and its tendency to stereotype sub-state nationalism in a negative way.

Keywords:   sub-state nationalism, sub-state national societies, liberal nationalist argument, distinctive constitutional accommodation, traditional liberalism

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