Collective Rights and Individual Autonomy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In discussing the issue of collective rights for aboriginal peoples, national minorities, and other subcultures within modem nation-states, many writers have set as their task the problem of reconciling these rights with a proper respect for individual autonomy. Will Kymlicka, for example, describes his own work on the subject as an effort to develop a distinctively liberal approach to multicultural rights. Most writers interested in justifying collective rights of one sort or another stress that the groups in question must have a shared history and a common culture. The shortcomings of both the diversity argument and the context of choice argument cast light on what a successful distinctively liberal argument for collective rights needs to establish. The argument needs to ground collective rights in the autonomy interests of those who are given the rights, and it needs to explain the significance of the distinction between externally imposed and (non) externally imposed cultural changes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGroup Rights
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages31
ISBN (Electronic)9781351932066
ISBN (Print)9780754623700
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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