This article outlines the two central theories in the ethics of secession and
examines whether or under what conditions these normative theories would be
satisfied in a post-invasion Iraq. I argue that the two dominant normative
theories of secession focus on the secessionist group, which national
self-determination theories conceive as a nation holding a right to
self-determination, and just-cause theories conceive as having a remedial right
to secession as a victim of injustice. The Iraq case suggests that this is a
flawed way of thinking about the issue. I argue that secession is more
legitimate when fair multinational arrangements are not on offer; and that the
fairness requirement involves examining constitutional arrangements from the
point of view of all groups.
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