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
Date Written: January 1, 2019
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: Suggested Citation