Self-Determination in the early Twenty First Century: A Double Edged Concept, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Self-Determination in the early Twenty First Century

A Double Edged Concept, 1st Edition

Edited by Uriel Abulof, Karl Cordell


114 pages

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In a world in which change is constant, the principle of self-determination is important. Through (collective) acts of self-determination, nations exercise the right to govern themselves. At present the nation-state system with which we are familiar faces several challenges. In Western Europe, sub-state nationalism is on the rise. In the Middle East and North Africa, the state system bequeathed by former colonial powers faces increasing threats from pan-Islamist movements. Overall, the established order faces unprecedented uncertainties. The scholars who have contributed to this volume assess the merits, limitations and trajectories of self-determination in the twenty-first century, pointing to the paradoxes and anomalies that are encompassed by what at first sight is a simple and seductive concept. From the perspective of the twenty-first century and informed by a wealth of experience each of the contributors to this volume offers some valuable and intriguing observations on the future of self-determination and the movements its call engenders.

This book was published as a special issue of Ethnopolitics.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction Karl Cordell

Self-determination and the End of History

2. The Daily Plebiscite as 21st-Century Reality Aviel Roshwald

3. Paradoxes of violence and self-determination Matthew Anthony Evangelista

4. From Independent Statehood to Minority Rights: The Evolution of National Self-determination as an International Order Principle in the Post-State Formation Era Oded Haklai

The Dangers of Self-Determination

5. Self-determination: The Democratization Test Amitai Etzioni

6. Self-determination as a Technology of Imperialism: The Soviet and Russian Experiences Mark R. Beissinger

7. The Confused Compass: From Self-determination to State-determination Uriel Abulof

Self-Determination and the Politics of Identity

8. The Right to Self-determination as a Claim to Independence in International Practice Mikulas Fabry

9. Constructing Identity through Symbols by Groups Demanding Self-determination: Bosnian Serbs and Iraqi Kurds Zeynep Kaya and Outi Keranen

10. The Social Bases of Support for Self-determination in East Ukraine Elise Giuliano

11. Self-determination and Majority–Minority Relations in Deeply Divided Societies: Towards a Comparative Analytical Framework Ilan Peleg

Self-determining the State

12. Stateness, National Self-determination and War and Peace in the Twenty-first Century Benjamin Miller

13. Self-determination in the Twenty-first Century Montserrat Guibernau

14. A Brief History of Self-determination Referendums Before 1920 Matt Qvortrup

15. Conclusion: In Search of a Common Ground Between Self-determination and Grand Strategy Wolfgang Danspeckgruber and Uriel Abulof

About the Editors

Karl Cordell is Professor of Politics at Plymouth University UK. He has numerous publications in the fields of German politics, German-Polish relations and the politics of nationalism and ethnicity. He is also co-editor of the journals Civil Wars and Ethnopolitics.

Uriel Abulof is an assistant professor of Politics at Tel-Aviv University and a senior research fellow at Princeton University’s LISD / Woodrow Wilson School. He studies political legitimation and violence, focusing on nationalism, democratization, revolutions and ethnic conflicts. Abulof's first book Living on the Edge: The Existential Uncertainty of Zionism (Haifa University Press) received Israel’s best academic book award, and he recently completed his second book, The Mortality and Morality of Nations (Cambridge University Press).

About the Series

Association for the Study of Nationalities

The books in this series focus on the dynamics and interactions of significant minority and majority nationalisms in the context of globalisation and their social, political and economic causes and consequences. Each book is focused on an important topic drawn from the rigorously peer-reviewed articles published in Nationalities Papers and Ethnopolitics, and includes authoritative theoretical reflection and empirical analysis by some of the most widely recognized experts in the world.

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