Minorities' Claims: From Autonomy to Secession: International Law and State Practice, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Minorities' Claims: From Autonomy to Secession

International Law and State Practice, 1st Edition

By Gnanapala Welhengama


368 pages

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Hardback: 9781138740389
pub: 2017-11-02
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This title was first published in 2000: An investigation of how the claims of minority groups for greater political power through 'autonomy' and 'secession' clash with the concerns of the nation-State, and how States’ refusals to respond positively to such claims contribute to the escalation of ethnic conflicts in contemporary multi-ethnic polities. In addition, this book examines the extent to which the international community is prepared to accommodate the concerns of minority groups beyond traditionally identified 'minority rights'. The validity of claims for autonomy with shared-sovereignty, autonomy as an inherent part of self-determination, autonomy as a solution to current ethnic conflicts, secessionist and irredentist movements and their impact on peace and security are analyzed in detail. Most importantly, whether minorities as such can secede from the State in which they live by virtue of self-determination is critically analyzed. The discussion of 'peoples' in the context of self-determination is the first detailed research on this subject to appear in international and human rights literature.


’…balanced, judicious and detailed…’ e-Extreme ’…it is extensively referenced and the writer is careful to point to evidence for his arguments in the views of jurists and judges, states and international organisations, as well as by reference to relevant international instruments. This book also contains a lot of detail and further reference material on ethnic conflicts. The writer provides much material about ethnic conflicts in Asia, Africa, the Americas, Australia and Europe, and integrates this within an international law framework. The book is therefore a good example of scholarship that is genuinely global in orientation.’ Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Law

Table of Contents

Contents: Claims from autonomy to secession: introduction; The minority issue and ethnic conflicts; Minorities?; Peoples, all peoples, nations and minorities; Claims for autonomy with shared-sovereignty; Claims for autonomy through the right to self-determination?; Models of autonomy and movements for autonomy; Claims for autonomy: the concerns of states; Secessionist movements; The right to secession: the views of jurists; The right to secession: international law and UN practice; Secessionist attempts: case studies; The right to secession through the right to self-determination? attitudes of states; Conclusions; Index.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General