Re-examining the Case for Non-Territorial Autonomy

Recent liberal political philosophy expanded the set of groups who can justifiably wield governmental authority in liberal-democratic states. Yet most views remain territorial. While scholars drew on early twentieth-century figures to consider non-territorial autonomy as a means of resolving conflicts earlier in this century, non-territorial autonomy is, with few exceptions, rarely considered as a serious possibility for a justified form of authority allocation in states. This work explores whether the principles used to justify other forms of sub-state authority (e.g., those related to self-determination, democracy, epistemology, or unique local interests) can justify non-territorial autonomy for at least diaspora nations who seek some control over particular subjects where we reject the assumption that government authority must be territorial. If so, this suggests that proposals for entrenching non-territorial powers in some multinational states are necessary and justify scrutiny.