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Discussion: Justification of Secession

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.

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  • Lee

    Do we want to discuss the Ukraine Crisis as well?

    Here is an excellent 10 minute video about US involvement in the region and its choice of allies.

    Ukraine Crisis - What You're Not Being Told

    April 3, 2014

    • Gregg

      April 9, 2014

    • Lee

      Not sure what you are questioning. Most of the video is either evidence by audio or pictures of the participants analyzed. Your question is like looking at murder scene pictures and asking who is the camera man.

      April 18, 2014

  • Cressida

    Good to see you all last night. In case anyone missed the Daily Show of 4/9/14, it complements some of the topics we touched on ….here's the link:

    April 10, 2014

  • Mark N.

    Good discussion, multiple perspectives, interesting people, and I came away with my understanding deepened a bit.

    1 · April 9, 2014

  • Vishakh

    While this is an interesting video, I think a dicussion of the particulars of the situation would be a distraction from the more general argument about the right of people to secede.

    1 · April 7, 2014

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