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Minority Rights: between diversity and community

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Jennifer Jackson-Preece|  
Polity Press (October 2005)

The question of minority rights is one of the great dilemmas of contemporary politics. Increases in the flow of immigrants, migrants and refugees have raised public concerns that greater cultural and ethnic diversity creates instability within nation-states. But does stability really require homogeneity? Or can it be nurtured in the presence of different minority groups?

In this path-breaking book, Jennifer Jackson-Preece analyses whether traditional minority rights theory is sufficiently dynamic to inform effective responses to modern challenges. The central premise behind minority rights is that groups recognised and supported by the political community are far less likely to challenge its authority or threaten its territorial integrity. However, as the author shows, the potential for collisions of values and interests still exists, and the possibility of a permanent solution to the problem of diversity remains illusive. 

Jennifer Jackson-Preece is lecturer nationalism in Europe at the European Institute at LSE. 

Endorsement

'This is an important book. At a time when western societies are becoming increasingly polarised between those who urge the virtues of multiculturalism and those who fear our values are being undermined and our security threatened by the presence of minorities, we badly need a careful and clear-headed apparaisal of minority rights and the dilemmas that they pose. Jennifer Jackson-Preece is to be congratulated on providing us with just such an account.'
Professor James Mayall, Cambridge University

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