Constitutional asymmetry vs. sovereignty and self-determination

Maja Sahadžić


Autonomy claims are a major aspect of federalism studies. Regardless of the importance of this topic, it has remained influenced to large extent by traditional studies in federalism. Thus, while emphasizing autonomy claims, most traditional federal theory remains rooted in two opposing concepts: the concept of sovereignty and the closely related right to self-determination. This paper challenges the traditional perspective by examining the question of sovereignty with reference to a dynamic notion of federalism. It addresses the notion of self-determination through an alternative approach involving the assessment of constitutional asymmetries, with the debate about constitutional asymmetries reviewed relative to multi-tiered systems and multinationalism. In relation to the major concepts examined, the paper demonstrates that the use of constitutional asymmetries in contemporary federal theory provides a more flexible approach to autonomy claims.




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