Secession versus Self-Determination: Some Critical Remarks on Contemporary Theories

9 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2015

See all articles by Rodion Belkovich

Rodion Belkovich

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Date Written: April 9, 2015

Abstract

From the beginning of the 1980s the problem of secession has become one of the most discussed topics among the political theory scholars in Western academia. Two main groups of theories which accept secession as a legitimate and morally permissible form of political action have emerged since then: remedial (or just-cause) theories and “liberal” theories. The remedial theories regard secession as a remedy which can be used against the injustices a group suffers within a state The liberal theories grant any territorially organised group a right to secede and form a new state if the latter complies with the requirements we usually demand of a contemporary democratic regime. What is common for both theories is their open acclaim of the right of self-determination. The study seeks to show that a theory of secession based on a self-determination principle must adopt a substantially wider understanding of secession than both of these theories can offer – a one which does not require a creation of a new state as a result.

Keywords: secession, self-determination, sovereignty, remedial theories, independence

JEL Classification: Z19

Suggested Citation

Belkovich, Rodion, Secession versus Self-Determination: Some Critical Remarks on Contemporary Theories (April 9, 2015). Higher School of Economics Research Paper No. WP BRP 50/LAW/2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2592466 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2592466

Rodion Belkovich (Contact Author)

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017
Russia

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