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February 06 , 2011

Ethnic Identity and Minority Protection

Designation, Discrimination, and Brutalization


In Ethnic Identity and Minority Protection: Designation, Discrimination, and Brutalization, Thomas W. Simon examines a new framework for considering ethnic conflicts. In contrast to the more traditional theories of justice, Simon’s theory of injustice shifts focus away from group identity toward group harms, effectively making many problems, such as how to define minorities in international law, dramatically more manageable.

Simon argues that instead of promoting legislative devices like proportional representation for minorities, it is more fruitful to seek adjudicative solutions to racial and ethnic-related conflicts. For example, resources could be shifted to quasi-judicial human-rights treaty bodies that have adopted an injustice approach. This injustice approach provides the foundation for Kosovo’s case for remedial secession, and helps to sort out the competing entitlement claims of Malays in different countries.

Indeed, the priority of Thomas W. Simon’s Ethnic Identity and Minority Protection is to ensure the tales of designation and discrimination told at the beginning of the work do not become the stories of brutalization told at the end. In short, the challenge tackled in this text is to assure that reason reigns over hate.
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