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The Rhetoric and Practice of Self Determination. A Right of all Peoples or Political Institutions?

Summers, James (2004) The Rhetoric and Practice of Self Determination. A Right of all Peoples or Political Institutions? Nordic Journal of International Law, 73 (3). pp. 325-363.

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Abstract

The right of peoples to self-determination occupies a prominent position in a number of key international instruments, like the Human Rights Covenants and the United Nations Charter. Yet, despite this, many questions remain about the right in international law. This article is an analysis of the right which will look at its language in relation to its practical application. Its focus is on self-determination as a rhetoric, which, it is argued, is used to legitimize political activities by presenting those activities in terms of peoples and their self-realization. It will be further argued that as political rhetoric self-determination is most likely to be invoked in the institutions that direct and provide a focus for political life. This produces the paradox in the right. Although the rhetoric of self-determination suggests that peoples and their characteristics provide the basis for political institutions, the right, in fact, seems to be shaped in large part by those institutions. This, in turn, has important implications for how self-determination should be looked at in relation to other legal principles.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Nordic Journal of International Law
Additional Information: RAE_import_type : Journal article RAE_uoa_type : Law
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Law School
ID Code: 3167
Deposited By: ep_importer
Deposited On: 26 Mar 2008 11:54
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2013 13:06
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/3167

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