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The self-determination of peoples is a major issue in the world community: both radical and subversive, it serves to grant statehood to oppressed peoples, but also to disrupt existing State structures. This book, the first comprehensive legal account, sets out to trace how this political ideal has turned into an international legal standard.
Scrutinising State practice through national digests and UN proceedings the author pinpoints the limits within which this political postulate has gained a foothold in the body of international law and assesses the extent to which it has had an impact on existing legal norms.
This is primarily a legal inquiry which, however, looks at law within its historical and political context and, given its judicial underpinning, makes an important contribution to the study of the interplay of law, history, and politics in international relations.