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Chapter Summary

This conclusory chapter of the book provides a comprehensive survey of the law of self-determination from the perspective of peoples. The conclusion that self-determination in international law may be more a doctrine concerning the legitimacy of legal rules than a source for them affirms the interaction of nationalism and liberalism with this law. As balances between self-determination and territorial integrity involve competing national ideas, there has been a tendency for international bodies to engage directly with those ideas to support their positions. The sovereign states that underpin international law have a national basis and one would expect their relations to be expressed in nationalist terms, as borne out in the UN Charter's positioning of self-determination as basis for friendly relations. Self-determination underlines that international law is not a stately edifice, but a dynamic process in which principles are negotiated and renegotiated.

Keywords: international law; self-determination; sovereign states; territorial integrity; UN Charter



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