Rationality and Discrimination in the Political Integration of Minorities
Pp. 213-228 (16)
Jose Antonio Lopez Garcia
The first conceptualisation of equal rights in the modern sense, understood
to mean equality of ownership of the same individual freedoms, was offered by the
theorists of the social contract, from Hobbes to Rousseau, but equal rights still
appeared as an immaterialisation hypothetical in a Civil Society (State) that was yet to
be constructed. Starting from the same enlightened principles, legal positivism takes on
the task of redirecting all disputes about material equality, that were specific to the
Enlightenment period, towards the more accessible proposal of formal legal equality
regarding the respect of individual rights, essential for a liberal social order that holds
up the written Constitution as a materialisation of popular Sovereignty. Leaving aside
the complex preoccupation with the material equality of individual rights, all of jurists’
efforts centre upon developing the aspect of the concept of equality that can be
interpreted as universally valid (the formal-legal aspect). And also, the modern
conception of democracy, i.e. the clearest and most conscious system for determining
collective social institutions was built on the basis of opting for multi-ethnic and multinational
States for the purpose of political integration of minorities. The consensus and
relativism of values considered as the basic criteria for the functioning of democracy
discouraged the possibility of mono-ethnic States, thereby favouring a situation where
several communities live side by side and get along within the same State.
Civil society, Democracy, Discrimination, Material equality,
Minorities, Political integration, Rationality, Rights.
Department of Legal Philosophy, University of Jaen, Jaen, Spain.