Ethics & International Affairs Volume 20.1 (Spring 2006): Special Section on Justice after War: The Ethics of Secession and Postinvasion Iraq [Abstract]

Apr 24, 2006

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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