• Susan J. Henders


Collectively, the case studies suggest a number of findings, which require further study to determine whether they can be generalized to other instances of special status arrangements. Overall, the experiences of central Tibet, Hong Kong, Corsica, and Catalonia, as well as China, France, and Spain, point to the growing importance of asymmetry in emergent patterns of territorial governance and of asymmetrical autonomy arrangements as modalities of the contemporary state. These arrangements have proved both instrumentally and normatively important in attempts to build and hold together states with minority territorial communities and for achieving other state goals. The cases also affirm the centrality of constitutional ruptures or shifts as contexts in which state decisionmakers sometimes overcome the biases against asymmetrical territorial governance and the recognition of territorialized cultural identity claims associated with the modern territorial state and citizenship model. The cases further suggest that special status arrangements do not end political conf lict over asymmetry and autonomy. Rather, they show how de jure formally asymmetrical autonomy was difficult to implement and sustain.


Regime Type State Elite Functional Autonomy Political Autonomy Fiscal Autonomy 
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© Susan J. Henders 2010

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  • Susan J. Henders

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