chapter  3
30 Pages

Peaceful Secessions: Norway, Slovakia and Quebec

In attempting to mobilize populations in support of their secessionist project, secessionists usually argue that a separate state would bring specific benefits to their target population. However, some reasons that secessionists advance in support of these demands, particularly in addressing non-secessionist audiences, do not refer to specific benefits to the secessionist population but rather to general political or ethical principles. Self-determination can be defined in the terms of participation in political decision-making and not in the terms of control of the state. The choice theories of secession maintain that, in some important sense, the state is a voluntary association into which citizens and groups of citizens can enter and from which they can exit by their own choice. Remedialist theories of unilateral secession view the state primarily as an institutional instrument through which groups pursue their group interests, among which are the physical security of individuals and protection of their human rights.