Secession: The Morality of Political Divorce from Fort Sumter to Lithuania and Quebec

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Westview Press, 1991 - Political Science - 174 pages
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This important study, the first book-length treatment of an increasingly crucial topic, treats the moral issues of secession at two levels. At the practical level, Professor Buchanan develops a coherent theory of the conditions under which secession is morally justifiable. He then applies it to historical and contemporary examples, including the U.S. Civil War and more recent events in Bangladesh, Katanga, and Biafra, the Baltic states, South Africa, and Quebec. This is the first systematic account of the conditions and terms that justify secession from a political union.But Buchanan also locates this account of the right to secede in the broader context of contemporary political thought, introducing readers to influential accounts of political society such as contractarianism and communitarianism, and showing how the possibility of secession fits into a more complete understanding of political community and political obligation.At both levels this is an important book. It will interest not just political and social theorists but any reader concerned with one of the most momentous issues of our day: the future of troubled political federations and other states under conditions of ethnic and cultural pluralism.
  

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Contents

The Morality of Secession
27
The Moral Case Against Secession
87
A Constitutional Right to Secede
127
Conclusions
151
References
163
Index
169
Copyright

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Page 48 - All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.
Page 1 - My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could do it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that.
Page 1 - I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could do it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do about slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union.
Page 49 - This argument is further and immeasurably strengthened by the fact that very many of the potential nations of this world live, or until recently have lived, not in compact territorial units but intermixed with each other in complex patterns. It follows that a territorial political unit can only become ethnically homogeneous, in such cases, if it either kills, or expels, or assimilates all non-nationals.
Page 49 - To put it in the simplest possible terms: there is a very large number of potential nations on earth. Our planet also contains room for a certain number of independent or autonomous political units. On any reasonable calculation, the former number (of potential nations) is probably much, much larger than that of possible viable states.

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About the author (1991)

Allen Buchanan is professor of philosophy at the University of Arizona at Tucson. Allen Buchanan is professor of philosophy at the University of Arizona at Tucson.

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