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Download National Self-Determination and Secession by Margaret Moore PDF

By Margaret Moore

This formidable examine brings jointly for the 1st time a chain of unique essays at the ethics of secession. a bunch of best figures discover key concerns during this very important debate, together with, what's "a humans" and what offers them a correct to secede? And is nationwide self-determination in keeping with liberal and democratic ideas or is it a perilous doctrine?

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Sample text

Something very like this urge Democracy and Secession 23 for apolitical harmony is suggested by the following passage from Philpott's defence of a majoritarian right to secede. In this passage Philpott uses the label 'Utopians' as a stand-in for any group with a shared identity and a shared preference to organize and direct society in the light of that identity. What self-determination [which includes the right to secede by plebiscite] does for the Utopian group is to redraw its political boundaries as tightly as possible.

A healthy democracy requires large numbers of citizens who are committed to rational dialogue—who feel obliged to become informed, and who are committed to agree to disagree rationally, to appeal to reasons backed by principles, rather than indulging in strategic behaviour that is designed to achieve their ends without the hard work of achieving principled, rational consensus. For it to be rational for citizens to make this investment they must have considerable confidence that two assumptions are well-founded: first, that their fellow citizens for the most part are committed to deciding issues by the weight of reasons, through appeal to principles, not by threats of exit; second, that the membership of the political community and the territorial jurisdiction of the state will remain relatively stable, so that those voting for or against proposals can be reasonably assured that they and their children will be subject to the laws they enact.

The peoples of the world rarely come in discrete territorial chunks. There have been several recent philosophical attempts to ground a more moderate theory of national self-determination, one that does not necessarily imply a right of secession for national minorities. In the liberal tradition these theories explain why so-called 'encompassing groups', particularly national minorities with a different language from the majority in their state, have a special claim to a degree of political autonomy in which they can protect their language and culture.

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