Keeping the State: Religious Toleration in Early Modern France, and the Role of the State
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionEuropean Yearbook of Minority Issues. 2003, 1 5-27. https://doi.org/10.1163/221161102X00022
Following the conflicts in the Balkans, minority issues have re-entered the European stage after a prolonged absence, and the question of minority rights in international politics has once more become a pressing and legitimate concern to both students and practitioners of international relations. With this revived interest in minority issues, one question that has reached the forefront of the agenda is whether states should still deal with -'their' minorities, or if the implementation and enforcement of minority provisions ought to be left to other international actors. In this article I reflect on the historicity of the issue. When arguing about why actors others than states should have responsibility of imposing and enforcing minority provisions, it is important to understand the relation between minority provisions and the state, and how and why the state emerged as the guarantor of minority rights in the first place. Only then, I argue, can we identify the issues and dilemmas that must be taken into account in any contemporary discussion of the future role of the state vis-a-vis other international actors.