Tag Archives: Nationalism

Self-Determination in Recent International Legal Scholarship

Omar Dahbour

There has been considerable discussion of what principle of political self-determination, if any, is consistent with existing doctrines in international law. Much of the discussion can be classified as: (a) self-determination claims made by groups seceding or attempting to secede from multinational states (e.g. the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, and Canada); and (b) claims by indigenous peoples in countries with large surviving populations of such peoples (e.g. Canada, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, China, and the United States). The overall trend of the discussion seems to be a rejection of any general “nationalist” principle of self-determination in favor of a principle of secession under prescribed conditions and/or a principle of autonomy for indigenous peoples in the allocation and control of land and natural resources.

Research supported by this grant has contributed to a book-length manuscript, Illusion of the Peoples: a Critique of National Self-Determination, and an article, “Self-Determination Without Nationalism.”

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