Self-determination, a prime justificatory principle of the international society, has become a confused, and confusing, compass. At the heart of this confusion, I argue, lies the tacit submersion of self-determination in state-determination. In principle, self-determination entails the ‘moral double helix' of duality (personal right to align with a people, and the people’s right to determine their politics) and mutuality (the right is as much the other’s as the self’s). In practice, state actors have labored to tame self-determination: to control and contain this perilous principle by yielding the will of ‘the people' to the interests of powerful states, which have repeatedly impaired its moral DNA.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cultural Studies
- Political Science and International Relations