Justification of the Right to National Self-Determination

1585 Words Jan 28th, 2018 6 Pages
1. Introduction—Can the right to national self-determination be justified?
1.1. What is the right to national self-determination?
The right to self-determination is the right of a group to determine political action concerning the group and its members. In this case, the right to national self-determination is the right of nations to have the institutions to make the political decisions that are of primary concern to the nation and its members (Shorten 2012: 44; Miller 1997: 81; Margalit and Raz 1990: 440). The right exists in international law enshrined in the Civil and Political Human Rights Covenant, and yet there is much controversy about its content, its bearers and how it ought to be implemented (Margalit and Raz 1990: 439). Further, Shorten explains, the right “can be satisfied through a variety of political arrangements, ranging from the establishment of sovereign statehood, to the granting of limited rights of self-government within a given territorial jurisdiction” (2012: 44).
1.1.1. What is at stake? What would self-determination allow nations to do?
The right to national self-determination is a complex issue given the many variables involved such as what constitutes the right, its bearers, etc. First, it must be determined what kind of entity is a nation. This requires a critical analysis of the criteria that groups must exhibit in order to qualify as a nation. Second, there is the question of why nations rather than other entities or groups should qualify for…

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