1st Edition

Self-Determination in the early Twenty First Century A Double Edged Concept

Edited By Uriel Abulof, Karl Cordell Copyright 2016
    144 Pages
    by Routledge

    128 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.

    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


    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).