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Chapter 5. The Law of Self-Determination: a Contradiction in Terms?

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Chapter Summary

The survey of obligations under self-determination underlines that the law of self-determination is the product of the interaction between nationalism and international law. Self-determination may be referred to as a legal principle, but the doctrine is something far broader. Moreover, it occupies a strategic position from which it can both underpin international law and remain outside it. This chapter looks at ten aspects of self-determination: (1) colonial peoples; (2) the peoples of states; (3) minorities; (4) peoples under foreign or alien domination; (5) economic self-determination or permanent sovereignty; (6) democratic government; (7) the use of force; (8) the issue of principle and right; (9) jus cogens or peremptory norms; and (10) erga omnes obligations.

Keywords: &t;i&t;erga omnes&t;/i&t;; &t;i&t;jus cogens&t;/i&t; norms; colonial self-determination; democratic government; economic self-determination; internal self-determination; International Law; liberalism; nationalism



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