The Legitimacy Clash: Challenges to Democracy in Multinational States


In the coming decade, we may see the advent of multinational federalism on an international scale. As great powers and international organizations become increasingly uncomfortable with the creation of new states, multinational federalism is now an important avenue to explore, and in recent decades the experiences of Canada and Quebec have had a key influence on the approaches taken to manage national and community diversity around the world.

Drawing on comparative scholarship and several key case studies (including Scotland, Catalonia, Quebec, and interactions between Indigenous peoples and various orders of government) The Legitimacy Clash takes a fresh look at the relationship between majorities and minorities while exploring theoretical advances in both federal studies and contemporary nationalisms. Alain-G. Gagnon critically examines the prospects and potential for a multinational federal state, specifically for nations seeking affirmation in a hostile context. The Legitimacy Clash reflects on the importance of legitimacy over legality in assessing the conflicts of claims.


Cet ouvrage est la traduction du livre Le choc des légitimités, publié aux Presses de l’Université Laval, en 2020.

Alain-G. Gagnon (2022). The Legitimacy Clash: Challenges to Democracy in Multinational States, University of Toronto Press, 216 p.

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