Alexander Osipov

International Law Aspects of Cultural Autonomy

2012. No. 3. P. 155–172 [issue contents]

Osipov Alexander - Doctorate candidate, Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of sciences, Senior Researcher of The European Centre for Minority Issues ( Flensburg, Germany), PhD (History). E-mail: aosipov1@gmail.com
Adress: Schiffbrücke 12 Kompagnietor D-24939 Flensburg 

The aim of the work is to analyze the interaction between international law norms and the practice of ethnic and cultural autonomy. The main question under discussion is on the forms of encouraging and limiting an ethnicity-based non-territorial autonomy by international law. The source based of the article is the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, documents of the Council of Europe, the Charter for European Security. The author states that a single interpretation of cultural autonomy has not been formulated either in legal theory or in practice. Terminology has not been settled either, i.e. the terms national cultural autonomy, personal autonomy may have contextually different interpretations. For example, the concept of subject of autonomy is understood and denoted differently. Political and legal documents on the subjects are too general. The author suggests his personal interpretations. He understands autonomy as a category of practice without any single interpretation and hence gets two major interpretations. According to one of them a non-territorial autonomy is a collective right to develop ethnicity, language and culture. According to the other interpretation, this is providing some public functions and resources to autonomous ethnic organisations. Wider concepts of the so called soft law include the concept of non-territorial autonomy or self-regulation. They are of declarative nature, and hence cannot be instruments. However, there are more specific applicable norms and practice of international organizations working on the second interpretation of non-territorial autonomy. However, these approaches are of limiting nature. The author notes that these approaches do not have contradictions as well as any demarcation line. In practice, they are overlapping. Practical activity becomes of symbolic value and interpretations may be the aspect of political actions. The author sees the root of the contradictions in the difference between symbolic and instrumental policy.

Citation: Osipov Gennadevich Alexander (2012) Mezhdunarodno-pravovye aspekty kul'turnoi avtonomii [International Law Aspects of Cultural Autonomy] Pravo. Zhurnal Vysshei shkoly ekonomiki, 3, pp. 155-172 (in Russian)
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