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PLS 405: Ethnicity, Nationalism, and Democracy Ethnic Conflict National Self-Determination: The Morality Argument.

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Presentation on theme: "PLS 405: Ethnicity, Nationalism, and Democracy Ethnic Conflict National Self-Determination: The Morality Argument."— Presentation transcript:

1 PLS 405: Ethnicity, Nationalism, and Democracy Ethnic Conflict National Self-Determination: The Morality Argument

2 2 / 15 Last Class In our last class, among other things, we discussed the conflicting legal aspects of nationalist-separatist movements –State Sovereignty (Westphalia) –National Self-Determination Today, we will discuss moral aspects of the nationalist- separatist arguments

3 3 / 15 Morality of Secession Many of the ethnic groups do suffer from: –Political repression –Economic repression –Cultural repression –Discrimination, both de jure and de facto Many exist in non-democratic states But, many exist in democratic states

4 4 / 15 Morality of Secession Many are, indeed, minorities at risk Does this offer the nationalist groups a moral right to secede?

5 5 / 15 Morality of Secession Is there a Right to Secede in Natural Law? –Right of Resistance exists, but not in an unqualified manner –Nor does it include a Right to Secede for the group However, there is precedent for secession: –Creation of Poland –Enosis of Crete –Several treaties (Congress of Vienna onward)

6 6 / 15 Buchheit’s Secession Models Remedial Model –International law recognizes that there is a continuum of redresses for an ethnic group against the state, dependent on the grievances received –Secession is the ultimate remedy Parochial Model –All that is required is a “Self”—an ethnic group that: Is capable of self-government Increases the peace in the region (both the containing state and the seceding state)

7 7 / 15 Buchheit’s Secession Models Well conceived Well thought out Ingenious Not realistic –How is level of disruption measured? –Is a measure disruption even objective?

8 8 / 15 Deconstructing Sovereignty Gottlieb’s idea: Separate the idea of sovereignty, the basis of the international state system (and a tradition) into two separate aspects: –Sovereignty over People –Sovereignty over Territory Central government keeps sovereignty over territory Regional (ethnic) governments receive sovereignty over (their) people

9 9 / 15 The Maastricht Option In the European Union: –Once sovereign states have given up their absolute sovereignty to a supra-state organization (EU). Mayall’s idea is very much like federalism –Central government has certain powers –Regional (ethnic) governments have other powers

10 10 / 15 Twelve Moral Arguments (Buchanan) Defense of liberty Promotion of diversity Safeguard liberalism (allow illiberal groups to secede) Original purpose of union obsolete Union explicitly allows for secession Violations of Natural Rights by containing state

11 11 / 15 Twelve Moral Arguments (Buchanan) Pareto optimal to secede Nation-state is optimal Cultural diversity increases Self-defense of the group Rectification of past injustices Loss of fairness in the state

12 12 / 15 More Moral Arguments (Heraclides) Nationhood Alien Domination Four requirements for moral secession 1.Existence of a sizeable, distinct, and compact community supporting autonomy 2.Pattern of systematic discrimination, exploitation, or domination by the state against the community

13 13 / 15 More Moral Arguments (Heraclides) Four requirements for moral secession 3.Policy of cultural domination and erosion of the community’s culture, language, religion, etc. 4.State’s rejection of dialogue designed to solve the above three problems

14 14 / 15 So… Under what conditions is secession morally correct? This is the fundamental question that underlies all secession movements –A secondary question is this: If a secession movement is morally right, what means can they use to achieve their goals?

15 15 / 15 Assignment In addition to the reading, I would like you to come to class on Friday with two pages laying out the history of the ethnic conflict in Rwanda We will use Rwanda as a small case study on Friday, complete with a video


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