With the secession (and subsequent annexation by Russia) of Crimea the morality and justification of secession has again come to the fore. Ukraine is a weak democracy as we discussed in Democracy in Retreat. It's elected leader was essentially bribed by Russia which lead to popular unrest and essentially a coup and prompted Putin's advance and eventual secession of Crimea. For the most part the referendum seems popular with over 90% voting in favor of secession.
But when is a group or region morally justified to secede? The Declaration of (American) Independence calls for the right of a land of diverse people to secede from what it saw as oppression. However, the United Nations recognizes the right of ethnic groups to secede in the face of human rights violation.
Ilya Somin doesn't think this applies to the situation in Ukraine, and not surprisingly so does Foreign Affairs. But interestingly, how do the principles from Ukraine apply to say Chechnya?
For a short introduction to the political philosophy of the idea check out this link, and for an in depth philosophical study, here's something more voluminous (does any name in the acknowledgement sand out?)
This should be a very interesting discussion, hope you can join us.