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There is new movement in the discussion about self-determination and statehood. The contested declaration of independence by Kosovo and Russia’s recognition of the purported independence of Abkhasia and South Ossetia have caused significant controversy. These developments may well put an end to the attempt by governments to keep in place the highly restricted doctrine of self-determination that has previously only been made available in the colonial context.
This monograph argues that classical self-determination, narrowly conceived in the colonial context. cannot contribute to the resolution of the presently ongoing self-determination conflicts around the world. However, this study finds that over the past few years a new practice of addressing self-determination conflicts has emerged. This practice significantly extends our understanding of the legal right to self-determination and of the means that can be brought to bear in terminating secessionist conflicts.