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This text presents a study of the issues arising from claims for autonomy and secession by minorities. At the turn of the 21st century, issues such as autonomy and secessionist rights of minorities have become a focus of debates among scholars, politicians and minority rights campaigners. Secessionist movements have lead to armed insurrections and sporadic outbreaks of violence, and some minorities are campaigning for the right to break away from an existing state and to set up their own state on ethnic, religious or linguistic grounds. Most states continue to believe that such claims are hazardous to the foundation of the nation-state system and international peace, and contemporary international law is struggling to cope with these developments.;This study examines the validity of claims for autonomy and secession by minority groups and analyzes the scenario of clashes resulting from minorities' claims from autonomy to secession and states' refusal to respond in a constructive manner. In the process, the book addresses issues such as how deep ethnic conflicts affect contemporary multiethnic polities, the conceptual dimension of ""peoples"", the conceptual basis of autonomy, movements for autonomy, the legitimacy of secession, secessionist attempts, and international law and the practice of the United Nations.