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16 JEMIE 1 (2017)

handle is hein.journals/jemie2017 and id is 1 raw text is: 

  SJournal on Ethnopolitics and Minority Issues in Europe
         MVol 16, No 1,2017, 1-31.

                         Copyright © ECMI 2017
                         This article is located at:
                         7/De Villiers.pdf

Power-sharing Options in Complex Societies - Possible Lessons from South

Tyrol for Young Democracies on Ways to Protect Ethnic Minorities at a

Regional Level

Bertus de Villiers*

University of Johannesburg


        The institutional arrangements aimed at the protection of cultural and linguistic
        rights in South Tyrol are some of the most unexplored yet thought provoking
        examples of minority protection in the world. Several aspects of the South Tyrolean
        experience are notable for young democracies, namely: (a) the asymmetrical nature
        of the powers and functions of South Tyrol vis-i-vis other Italian regions; (b) the
        unique power-sharing arrangements between the respective communities; (c) the
        extensive autonomy that is granted to linguistic communities on a non-territorial
        basis; and (d) the unique way in which community/group association is determined.
        This article gives an in-depth analysis of the South Tyrolean institutional
        arrangements and identifies potential lessons for consideration by young and
        emerging democracies. South Tyrol demonstrates how regionally-based power-
        sharing and autonomy arrangements can be pursued without having to replicate
        similar institutions in other regions or in national institutions. Most importantly,
        South Tyrol shows how a balance can be struck between power-sharing and
        community autonomy, and how communities that live intermingled can exercise
        self-government over their culture, education and language.

Keywords: South Tyrol; asymmetry; protection of minorities; autonomy; non-territorial

autonomy; power-sharing; language; cultural and religious rights; state/regional constitutions

* Law School of the University of Johannesburg and State Administrative Tribunal of Western Australia, Visiting
Professor and Member, email: bertus.devilliers @justice. wa. gov. au

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