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Human Rights

By Margaret Moore

This formidable research brings jointly for the 1st time a sequence of unique essays at the ethics of secession. a number of top figures discover key matters during this vital debate, together with, what's "a humans" and what offers them a correct to secede? And is nationwide self-determination in keeping with liberal and democratic ideas or is it a perilous doctrine?

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Extra resources for National Self-Determination and Secession

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32 Allen Buchanan 18. Philpott, 'In Defense of Self-Determination', 359. 19. It is not clear that the conditions of radical pluralism obtain anywhere in the world today. For one thing, the forces of international commerce have necessitated the bridging of many cultural divisions and created a common good, albeit a rather thin one, or at least a common legal framework of rights within which disparate groups may pursue their own conceptions of the good. Even in cases of large cultural differences, there are some commonalities in values (for example, the desire for physical security, and freedom from disease) and there is a growing consensus on the institutional arrangements needed to protect these common, minimal values.

More specifically, a group has the right to secede (in the absence of any negotiations or constitutional provisions that establish a right) only as a remedy of last resort to escape serious injustices. On my version of the remedial right only position, injustices capable of generating a right to secede consist of persistent violations of human rights, including the right to participate in democratic governance, and the unjust taking of the territory in question, if that territory previously was a legitimate state or a portion of one (in which case secession is simply the taking back of what was unjustly taken).

5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 31 Pennsylvania Press, 1990); W. Ofuatey-Kodjoe, The Principle of Self-Determination in International Law (New York: Nellen, 1977). The work of decolonization is not entirely finished, as the cases of East Timor and Tibet show. As a remedial right, the right to secede is a general right, as contrasted with a special right, which might be acquired through a negotiated settlement between secessionist and the state, or through a special constitutional provision for secession (as exists, for example in the Ethiopian Constitution and the Constitution of St.

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