National self-determination: A theoretical discussion

B. Neuberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The analysis of the concept of self-determination has provided us with a theoretical framework which clarifies many inter-ethnic conflicts, border disputes, secessions, and wars. It certainly is not a substitute for a thorough empirical study of each conflict, but we think it offers an important additional perspective. Substantially the problem of national self-determination is more or less the same in Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. The same is true with regard to the basic dilemmas inherent in the concept of self-determination: the identity of the self, the goals and means of determination, the connection between the right of self-determination and the right of secession, the optimal size of a viable state, the reversibility of self-determination and its conflict with other international principles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-418
Number of pages28
JournalNationalities Papers
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001


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