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Third-party Involvement in Self-determination Conflicts

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on international involvement in self-determination conflicts. There are basically two reasons why the international community engages in such conflicts. First, the key parties involved - usually a central government and a secessionist movement - are unable to solve their disputes in a non-violent way and need help in various forms. Second, the international community itself is still very reluctant to accept and recognize self-determination claims and therefore has an interest in preventing secession or the dissolution of states by favouring some kind of internal solution, such as power-sharing arrangements. The chapter clarifies the concept of third party involvement and distinguishes various types of that involvement. It aims to identify the specific activities and mechanisms of third party involvement found in the eight case studies. Based on this empirical experience, it then discusses some factors that may determine positive or negative outcomes.

Keywords: international involvement; power-sharing arrangements; secessionist movement; self-determination conflicts; third party involvement



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