Is the resolution of conflicting ethnic preferences manageable in a democratic framework?

“We think not.”

And, in just three words, that’s the bottom line.

That was the answer given by two professors of political science at Harvard and Stanford, the authors of one of the go-to books on governing plurinational societies.¹

In Politics in Plural Societies: a theory of democratic instability, Rabushka and Shepsle present a model of development of political phenomena in multi-ethnic nations, which they refer to as plural, analysing the behaviour of both the political elites and the population of over a dozen countries in four continents.

A nation must meet three conditions in order to be qualified as plural.

  1. It needs to have diverse identities;
  2. these must be organised into cohesive political sections (parties, trade unions, etc.); and
  3. its conflicts must be understood in ethnic terms.

This calls for the following assumptions about the population: Continue reading “Is the resolution of conflicting ethnic preferences manageable in a democratic framework?”

Catalonia Referendum: SNP legitimates Spanish stance, but wrongly insists on the ethical principle of self-determination

This is SNP’s statement on the Catalan question:

Sdec

It can be summed up as follows:

First, it declares that the Spanish government’s position is legitimate:

The SNP Scottish government states that:

1. The Catalan and Spanish governments are perfectly entitled to take positions for and against independence.

It then qualifies its stance by adding an ethical condition:

Continue reading “Catalonia Referendum: SNP legitimates Spanish stance, but wrongly insists on the ethical principle of self-determination”