This unit explores the following three ways of creating new states: decolonization, secession and unification. Of all three, secession is currently the most frequent or perhaps the most effective way of creating a new state. The unit thus explores the normative (ethical) and legal grounds for secession – including the principle of national self-determination – as well as various theories attempting to explain why and how secessions unfold.
Lecture topics by week:
1. Creating new states: at this very moment and in the past.
2. The state: how to centralize political power on a bounded territory
3. The nation: how to mobilize people to demand – and obey – a state of their own
4. A modern way of state creation I : the principle of self-determination and decolonization
5. Decolonisation, secession and unification: three ways of creating new states out of old
6. A modern way of state-creation II : Dissolution of states by sequential secessions ( the USSR, Yugoslavia)
7. A modern way of state-creation III: Secessions from states, peaceful (Montenegro 2006) and violent (Chechnya 1994)
8. How to explain secessions: a general framework
9. Justifying secessions and recognizing new states: normative theories and international law
10. Unification: rare but unproblematic? Germany (1871, 1990), Yugoslavia (1918, 1992)
11. Towards the unification of the world: the European Union and (perhaps?) the World State.
12. Reading week: no classes (consultation instead)
13. Class test