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Ethnic Identity and Minority Protection: Designation, Discrimination, and Brutalization

Ethnic Identity and Minority Protection: Designation, Discrimination, and Brutalization

by Thomas W. Simon


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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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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780739149812
Publisher: Lexington Books
Publication date: 12/06/2013
Pages: 330
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Thomas W. Simon is professor of international law at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center, Nanjing University, China.

Table of Contents

Part I: Stories of Designation
Chapter One: Balkan Tales
Part II: A Theory of Injustice
Chapter Two: Injustice Trumps Justice
Part III: Group Types
Chapter Three: The Problems of Race
Chapter Four: Ethnicity, An Outsider's View
Chapter Five: Minorities Defined
Chapter Six: Citizenship as a Weapon
Part Four: Institutions and Solutions
Chapter Seven: The Judiciary versus the Legislature
Chapter Eight: The United Nations on Minorities
Chapter Nine: Remedial Secession
Part Five: Case Studies
Chapter Ten: Malays in Malaysia, South Africa, and the Philippines
Part Six: Stories of Brutalization
Chapter Eleven: Hate Debates
About the Author

What People are Saying About This

Jeffrey Reiman

In Ethnic Identity and Minority Protection: From Designation to Brutalization, Thomas Simon takes his stand with those philosophers who call for giving priority to identifying and removing injustices over formulating and implementing standards of justice. Simon addresses problems that have only recently started to attract the attention of philosophers, and he shows that that attention is needed and overdue. In a discussion rich in examples from recent history, current events, and the author’s own personal experiences, Simon reflects on the lamentable harms imposed on a wide range of disadvantaged groups, ethnic, racial, national, and political. Going beyond familiar designations, he finds troubling aspects regarding groupings that are rarely seen as problematic, e.g., citizens. Simon takes a hard and critical look at the institutions currently tasked with protecting groups against injustice, and explores their failures. He argues for greater recourse to judicial solutions because of courts’ ability to protect minorities from majority oppression. He catalogues the shortcomings of numerous United Nations organizations, but points as well to the successes of the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. This book combines passion and argument, moving narratives and insightful philosophical and legal analysis. It identifies problems and defends solutions. It could sensitize readers to the way groups are seen and the way they are treated. It might well contribute to a reduction in the targeting of groups for violence and abuse.

James P. Sterba

A very powerful book! This is political philosophy as it should be taught, written, and practiced.

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