Missing the overlap between theory and practice: Patten’s ‘equal recognition’ in the face of the Catalan case

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Abstract

© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Drawing on the particularities of Catalonia (and related cases), the general point of this contribution is to argue that Patten’s equal recognition theory is modeled upon a too-restricted set of empirical assumptions, a circumstance that might harm its value as a tool for the orientation, evaluation, and reform of public policy. What is absent in Patten’s account–or at least not properly inserted into it–are four built-in modules that we have named ‘history’, ‘democracy’, ‘international relations’, and ‘migration’. When it comes to recognition of minorities, the past matters more often than Patten is willing to accept; democracy can lead to permanent departures from equal recognition on the part of self-governing national minorities; in the recognition game, there are other relevant players than simply states and their minorities; and one of these players, namely immigrant groups, can (albeit involuntarily) distort equal recognition schemes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-126
JournalCritical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2017

Keywords

  • Catalonia
  • equal recognition
  • minority culture
  • political theory
  • secession

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