chapter  10
21 Pages

From quid pro quo to modus vivendi: can legalizing secession strengthen the plurinational federation?

WithWAYNE NORMAN

In­short,­barring­extreme­brutality,­secession­is­permitted­only­by­mutual­agreement­between­a­central­government­and­a­regional­minority.­ If­ the­majority­of­

citizens in a federal province4 of a plurinational democracy voted for independence­tomorrow,­they­could­not­realistically­expect­to­be­recognized­by­a­significant number of states (if any) until they had negotiated the terms of secession with their own central government and that government formally recognized the new state. According to Crawford,

Outside­ the­ colonial­ context,­ the­United­Nations­ is­ extremely­ reluctant­ to­ admit a seceding entity to membership against the wishes of the government of the state from which it has purported to secede. There is no case since 1945 where it has done so.5