This revised and expanded edition analyses the factors conducive to holding independence and secession referendums, to winning these votes and to their status in domestic and international law. Taking into account the votes in Catalonia and Scotland, the book shows that votes on secession and independence are not a passing phenomenon but an important part of international politics.
The book includes an overview of the history of referendums on independence and a summary of the legal issues involved in doing so, as well as a chapter on referendums in unrecognised states and case study chapters exploring referendums in Kosovo, Cyprus, Kurdistan and Somaliland amongst others. By considering the ethical arguments for secession and recognition, the legal norms governing the process, and the positive and political science theory of when would-be states succeed in becoming recognized by the international community, it shows the role of referendums in the process of establishing new states, and, as a corollary, their role (if any) winning international recognition for these states.
This book will be of interest to all scholars and students of political science, law and even philosophy.
Table of Contents
Part I – The History of Referendums
1. Introduction: Nationalism, Referendums and Democracy: Independence, Recognition and Voting
2. The History of Ethno-National Referendums 1791-2018
Part II – A Theory of Self Determination
3. Secessionist Referendums in International and Domestic Law
4. Theory of State Recognition: A Contemporary Assessment
Part III – Case Studies
5. Phantom Referendums in Phantom States: Meaningless farce or a bridge to reality?
6. Legacies of a Failed Referendum: Negotiations to Ratify a Peace Treaty in Cyprus
7. Self-determination or the Will of the People? Declarations of Independence and the Paradox of "Alien-determined Self-determination"
Matt Qvortrup, DPhil (Oxon), is Professor of Political Science at Coventry University, UK.