A liberal interpretation of the international law on secession
For over two centuries, "nations" of people residing in existing states have clamored for independence, autonomy, and self-rule. There is no discernible pattern to their activity, and the response by the international community is equally uncertain. Secession has proven its ability to alter dramatically the Westphalian order of territorial integrity, while also increasing the prospects for extreme hatred, violent intra-state and regional conflict, and genocide. The purpose of this thesis is to locate factors in international law to better understand the international political problem of secession. To this end, evidence for a legitimate international law on secession is amassed, and state practice with regard to secession is examined for its consistency with jurisprudence. The resulting synthesis between international law and international politics accurately describes and explains secession, while also offering textual and procedural prescriptions.