Intrastate Autonomy

Allen Buchanan

in Justice, Legitimacy, and Self-Determination

Published in print August 2003 | ISBN: 9780198295358
Published online April 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191600982 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Political Theory

 Intrastate Autonomy

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Ch. 8 argued for combining a rather restrained, justice‐based view of the unilateral right to secede, the Remedial Right Only Theory, with a much more supportive stance toward forms of self‐determination within the state: various forms of intrastate autonomy. This chapter argues that the international legal order ought to acknowledge the importance of self‐determination by supporting intrastate autonomy, and also suggests that, apart from the role that international law should play, individual states should generally give serious consideration to proposals for intrastate autonomy. The chapter first makes the case for including in the domain of transnational justice the monitoring and enforcement of intrastate autonomy regimes under certain rather exceptional circumstances, and then, in the last section, suggests that even where principles of transnational justice do not require it, there are cases in which the international community might play a constructive role by providing diplomatic support and economic inducements or pressure to encourage the creation and well‐functioning of intrastate autonomy regimes. The five sections of the chapter are: I. Intrastate Autonomy and Transnational Justice; II. Indigenous Peoples’ Rights; III. Justifications for Intrastate Autonomy for Indigenous Peoples; IV. Basic Individual Human Rights as Limits on Intrastate Autonomy; and V. International Support for Intrastate Autonomy: Beyond the Requirements of Transnational Justice.

Keywords: diplomatic support; economic inducements; economic pressure; Human Rights; Indigenous Peoples; Indigenous Peoples’ Rights; Individual Human Rights; international community; international law; international legal order; International Support; intrastate autonomy; self‐determination; states; transnational justice

Chapter.  8762 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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