Visions of Sovereignty
Nationalism and Accommodation in Multinational Democracies
336 pages | 6 x 9 | 7 illus.
Cloth May 2014 | ISBN 978-0-8122-4600-1 | $75.00s | £49.00 | Add to cart
Ebook May 2014 | ISBN 978-0-8122-0961-7 | $75.00s | £49.00 | About | Add to cart
A volume in the National and Ethnic Conflict in the 21st Century series
"This extremely interesting book employs some excellent original material and argumentation. Because it focuses on a range of parties grappling with the constitutional issue, Visions of Sovereignty really adds to the literature on parties and the general phenomenon of constitutional politics and secession."—Peter Lynch, University of Stirling
In the contemporary world, there are many democratic states whose minority nations have pushed for constitutional reform, greater autonomy, and asymmetric federalism. Substate national movements within countries such as Spain, Canada, Belgium, and the United Kingdom are heterogeneous: some nationalists advocate independence, others seek an autonomous special status within the state, and yet others often seek greater self-government as a constituent unit of a federation or federal system. What motivates substate nationalists to prioritize one constitutional vision over another is one of the great puzzles of ethnonational constitutional politics. In Visions of Sovereignty, Jaime Lluch examines why some nationalists adopt a secessionist stance while others within the same national movement choose a nonsecessionist constitutional orientation.
Based on extensive fieldwork in Canada and Spain, Visions of Sovereignty provides an in-depth examination of the Québécois and Catalan national movements between 1976 and 2010. It also elaborates a novel theoretical perspective: the "moral polity" thesis. Lluch argues persuasively that disengagement between the central state and substate nationalists can lead to the adoption of more pro-sovereignty constitutional orientations. Because many substate nationalists perceive that the central state is not capable of accommodating or sustaining a plural constitutional vision, their radicalization is animated by a moral sense of nonreciprocity.
Mapping the complex range of political orientations within substate national movements, Visions of Sovereignty illuminates the political and constitutional dynamics of accommodating national diversity in multinational democracies. This elegantly written and meticulously researched study is an essential read for those interested in the future of multinational and multiethnic states.
Jaime Lluch is a Fellow of the Penn Program on Democracy, Citizenship, and Constitutionalism at the University of Pennsylvania and the editor of Constitutionalism and the Politics of Accommodation in Multinational Democracies.