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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

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A Theory of Secession: The Case for Political Self-Determination

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ISBN13: 9780521849159
ISBN: 0521849152
Published: October 2005
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £64.99

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A Theory of Secession: The Case for Political Self-Determination offers an unapologetic defense of the right to secede. Christopher Heath Wellman argues that any group has a moral right to secede as long as its political divorce will leave it and the remainder state in a position to perform the requisite political functions. He explains that there is nothing contradictory about valuing legitimate states, while permitting their division.

Once political states are recognized as valuable because of the functions that they are uniquely suited to perform, it becomes apparent that the territorial boundaries of existing states might permissably be redrawn as long as neither the process, nor the result of this reconfiguration, interrupts the production of the crucial political benefits. Thus, if one values self-determination, then one has good reason to conclude that people have a right to determine their political boundaries.

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Public International Law
1. Introduction
2. The case for statism
3. Valuing self-determination
4. Lincoln on secession
5. The truth in nationalism
6. Political coercion and exploitation
7. Secession and international law
8. The velvet transformation.