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Separatism is a highly topical and controversial legal and political issue. The conflicts in the Balkans of the 1990s have revived the unresolved issue of national minority self-determination in international law and also, in European politics, the issues of how to deal with sub-state nationalisms and group recognition, and how to enable the political inclusion of national minorities
National Minority Rights reviews the European inter-governmental approach in international law and politics through analysis of issues related to the moral recognition and ethical acceptance of national minorities. Examining issues of sub-state nationalisms, group recognition, identity, and political participation, Malloy reveals assumptions in international law and politics about state sovereignty, collective rights, loyalty, and political inclusion. Employing both theoretical analysis and practical examples, Malloy provides a new framework for the accommodation of national minorities in Europe, which aims to address the problems that have emerged from both international law and European relations since 1989.
Malloy questions the ability of the national minority rights discourse to inform international law in its efforts to protect national minorities in an ethical manner. Instead, she contends that the complex processes of constitutionalism in the realm of European integration might provide a better way to accommodate national minorities.