The Responsibility to Protect as an Impetus for Secessionist Movements: On the Necessity to Re-Think Territorial Integrity
Matthias Kettemann (ed), Grenzen im Völkerrecht (Jan Sramek Verlag, 2013)
30 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2013 Last revised: 9 Dec 2013
Date Written: December 6, 2013
As with every new and major development, the Responsibility to Protect-doctrine naturally comes with a series of unintended consequences. One of these is its profound impact on secessionist struggles. At least in theory, it seems that the perfect recipe for successful secession is to engage the parent state in protracted violence and gross human rights abuses since the prospect of outside intervention creates an incentive for secessionist groups to resort to force in order to overcome an otherwise superior opponent. This moral hazard is doubled by the increased likelihood of recognition under the banner of the alleged right to remedial secession. In order to overcome this fundamental dilemma, it is necessary to re-think the status quo-bias regarding territorial integrity, for instance by recognizing a primary right to secede.
Keywords: Secession, Kosovo, Humanitarian Intervention, Responsibility to Protect, Moral Hazard, Remedial Secession, Primary Right to Secede
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