Article Title

Beyond Territory: Revisiting the Normative Justification of Self-Government in Theory and Practice


The association of sovereignty with control over territory is being challenged both internally and externally in modern societies. Demands for political autonomy from sub-state minorities undermine the natural link between nation, state and territory from within, while the movement of capital, goods and information across borders contests the relationship between these concepts from without. Scholars of international relations, law, philosophy and political science have already suggested that the sovereignty of nation-states is under attack; however, scant attention has been paid to the way in which changes in the relation between nation, state, and territory affect the normative weight associated with each of these concepts in discussions about sovereignty and self-government. The objectives of this article is to examine the way in which nation, state, sovereignty, and territory are addressed in normative justifications of indigenous self-government and to better understand how these notions are being treated in its implementation.


An earlier version of this article was presented at the 21st World Congress of Political Science in Santiago, Chile. The author would like to thank the anonymous reviewers as well as Joe Garcea for their thoughtful and encouraging comments.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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