Justice in ethnically diverse societies: A critique of political alienation

Shane O'Neill

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    15 Citations (Scopus)


    The article presents a normative principle of constitutional justice that acknowledges ethnocultural and ethnonational diversity by addressing the injustice of political alienation. It is suggested that this principle could be the subject of a methodological overlapping consensus among several comprehensive normative-theoretical frameworks that are influential in current debates. The main implication of the principle for ethnically diverse societies is that it demands a deconstruction of hierarchical group relations among citizens along with the simultaneous achievement of an inclusive political culture. I apply this normative framework to the struggle for constitutional justice in the ethnonationally divided context of Northern Ireland. The principle would seem to demand a binational egalitarian arrangement and it is argued that this would be most effectively achieved under joint British-Irish sovereignty. I conclude by considering how to minimize the risk that such institutional recognition of national identities could further alienate citizens who do not belong to either of the main national groups.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)369-392
    Number of pages24
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2003


    • Constitutions
    • Diversity
    • Hierarchies
    • Northern Ireland
    • Sovereignty

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Cultural Studies
    • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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