As If Peoples Mattered

By: Zelim Skurbaty

ISBN: 978-90-41-11342-9

Ours is an era of decline for the nation state and one of world-wide concern for the problems surrounding sub-state groups: minorities, peoples and indigenous populations. The often violent resurgence of conflicts between these groups and States in even the stable democracies poses a challenge to international law as well as to liberal political principles. In this volume, an expert in international minority rights provides not only significant clarification of the legal issues involved, but also trenchant insights taken from a wide range of humanitarian disciplines: from philosophy and systems theory to neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and transactional analysis (TA). The result is a meticulously researched book exploring from a variety of perspectives the terms `peoples’ and `minorities’ in international law as well as relationships between minorities, peoples and indigenous rights, individuation and self-determination. Of special interest is the attempt of the author to explain the existence of double standards in international minority rights (dubbing them `games’) with the help of transactional analysis, and to redefine and reframe the basic terms such as `international law’, `sovereignty’, `self- determination’, etc. The straightforward claim of the author is that the proposed theories can help both members of minorities and those in executive positions to gain insights on the cognitive level and make more congruent, community-oriented decisions on the practical level. The book will hold particular appeal for all those interested in the international law of human rights, politics and philosophy, as well as students seeking a multi-disciplinary perspective on these much-debated areas.

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