This volume describes and analyzes alternative and emerging models of non-territorial autonomy (NTA), particularly in relation to decentralization. The authors push the NTA debate in new directions by offering a re-conceptualization based on ethno-cultural bottom-up decentralized action that redefines autonomy into its true sense of autonomous action. Through description, critical analysis, and evaluation of several case studies, this book assesses the potential for new paradigms within decentralized systems.
The authors explore two approaches to political decentralization which add to the theoretical debate on NTA - network governance, which focuses on new dynamics in policy processes, and normative pluralism, which focuses on accommodating the distinctness of the groups through the subsidiarity principle with regard to their own affairs. The book explores the potential ramifications of ethno-cultural NTA institutions acting within the wider framework of state institutions and assesses the functions of these institutions as another dimension of decentralization and thus another 'layer' of democracy.
With contemporary examples from Europe, the Middle East, Asia and South Africa, as well as theoretical aspects of the conceptualization of autonomy, this book offers a truly global perspective. It will be of great interest to policy-makers in countries experiencing adverse developments due to the pressure on public management, as well as advanced students and scholars questioning the ability of the Westphalian system to address cultural diversity.