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Minority rights: Minority rights are the rights of individuals and groups who differ from the dominant group in society, such as ethnic, religious, linguistic, or sexual minorities. These rights are intended to protect minorities from discrimination and to ensure that they have equal opportunities to participate in society. See also Minorities, Majority, Society, Justice, Discrimination.
Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Will Kymlicka on Minority Rights - Dictionary of Arguments

Gaus I 251
Minority rights/Kymlicka/Kukathas: according to Kymlicka, minority rights could not simply be subsumed under human rights because 'human rights standards are simply unable to resolve some of the most important and controversial questions relating to cultural minorities' (1995a(1): 4).
Official language/education: these included questions about which languages should be recognized in the parliaments, bureaucracies and courts; whether any ethnic or national groups should have publicly funded education in their mother tongue;
Internal boundaries: whether internal boundaries should be drawn so that cultural minorities form majorities in local regions; whether traditional homelands of indigenous peoples should be reserved for their benefit; and what degree of cultural integration might be required of immigrants
seeking citizenship (1995a(1): 4—5). >Human rights/Kymlicka
Gaus I 252
The theory ultimately advanced by Kymlicka distinguished three kinds of minority or group-
differentiated rights that were to be accorded to ethnic and national groups: 1) self-government rights, 2) polyethnic rights, and 3) special representation rights.
1) Self-government rights: Self- government rights require the delegation of powers to national minorities, such as indigenous peoples, but these rights would not be available to other
cultural minorities who had immigrated into the country.
2) Polyethnic rights: The latter would be eligible for polyethnic rights, which guarantee financial support and legal protection for practices peculiar to some ethnic or religious groups.
3) Special representation rights: Both indigenous peoples and immigrant minorities might also be eligible for special representation rights which guarantee places for minority representatives on state bodies or institutions.
Minorities: Central to Kymlicka's account of group-differentiated rights is a distinction between two
kinds of minorities: national minorities and ethnic minorities. National minorities are peoples whose previously self-governing, territorially concentrated cultures have been incorporated into a larger state.
Examples include 'American Indians', Puerto Ricans, Chicanos, and native Hawaiians in
the United States; the Quebecois and various aboriginal communities in Canada; and the Australian Aborigines. Ethnic minorities, however, are peoples who have immigrated to a new society and do not wish to govern themselves, but nonetheless wish to hold on to their ethnic identities and traditions. >Multiculturalism/Kymlicka, >Culture/Kymlicka.
Societal culture/groups/Kymlicka: (...) 'liberals can and should endorse certain external protections, where they promote fairness between groups, but should reject internal restrictions which limit the right of group members to question and revise traditional authorities and practices' (1995a(1): 37). What group-differentiated rights are granted, then,
Gaus I 253
depends on whether the particular multinational, polyethnic, or special representation rights in question provide 'external protections' , or enforce 'internal restrictions'.
VsKymlicka: for criticism and counterarguments against Kymlicka see >Minority rights/Political Philosophy.

1. Kymlicka, Will (1995a) Multicultural Citizenship: A Liberal Theory of Minority Rights. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kukathas, Chandran 2004. „Nationalism and Multiculturalism“. In: Gaus, Gerald F. & Kukathas, Chandran 2004. Handbook of Political Theory. SAGE Publications

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Kymlicka, Will
Gaus I
Gerald F. Gaus
Chandran Kukathas
Handbook of Political Theory London 2004

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