The Primary Right Secession under the Principle of Associational Freedom: Bridging the Gap between External Self-Determination and State Sovereignty through Critical Constructivism
20 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2013
Date Written: December 15, 2005
While international law is slowly evolving to recognize a remedial right to secession under the concept of national self-determination, there is no standard procedure for determining the validity of secessionist claims and settling territorial disputes that arise as a result of such claims. Consequently, hundreds of secessionist movements have little recourse under international law, and often resort to violence in their unilateral claims to secession.
In this paper, I argue that not only does the principle of self-determination guarantee a right to secession under international law, but that separatists need not be from a culturally distinct minority group, and/or under a politically illegitimate state in order to claim a right to secession. Advancing choice theory, I argue that the liberal egalitarian principle of associational freedom guarantees a right to external self-determination and therefore, a primary right to secession based on majoritarian consent
Keywords: secession, international law, associational freedom, self-determination, minority groups
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