Global Constitutional Strategies to Counter-Secession

STRATEGIES OF SECESSION AND COUNTER-SECESSION 84 (Ryan D Griffiths and Diego Muro eds, ECPR, 2020)

16 Pages Posted: 11 Jan 2022

See all articles by Rivka Weill

Rivka Weill

Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliyah - Radzyner School of Law; University of Chicago Law School

Date Written: January 1, 2019

Abstract

In contrast to the prevailing scholarly approach, my theoretical and empirical work on “Secession and the Prevalence of Both Militant Democracy and Eternity Clauses Worldwide” published in the Cardozo Law Review in 2018 suggests that the overwhelming majority of world constitutions, including the constitutions of the overwhelming majority of democratic and semi-democratic states, prohibit secession in explicit but indirect manners. In that work, I analyze the different constitutional treatments of secession existing in 192 constitutions of states that are members of the United Nations (UN) and the empirical findings regarding their prevalence. I use this chapter to sketch some of the themes, elaborate on others, and foster a discussion with political scientists and international relations scholars. The second section defines secession. The third section introduces the two primary tools constitutions use to prevent secession and explains why scholarship has missed the prevalence of these tools in constitutions. The fourth section discusses militant democracy in the context of secession. The fifth section deals with the protection of territorial integrity through eternity clauses. The sixth section explains the nexus between militant democracy and eternity clauses. The seventh section argues that even when constitutions allow for secession, they intend to frustrate it. The eighth section concludes with strategic and normative explanations for constitutions’ treatment of secession.

Keywords: secession, militant democracy, territorial sovereignty, eternity clauses, referenda

Suggested Citation

Weill, Rivka, Global Constitutional Strategies to Counter-Secession (January 1, 2019). STRATEGIES OF SECESSION AND COUNTER-SECESSION 84 (Ryan D Griffiths and Diego Muro eds, ECPR, 2020), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4002531

Rivka Weill (Contact Author)

Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliyah - Radzyner School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 167
Herzliya, 46150
Israel

University of Chicago Law School ( email )

1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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