Why Stay Together? a Pluralist Approach to Secession and Federation

Rainer Bauböck

in Citizenship in Diverse Societies

Published in print March 2000 | ISBN: 9780198297703
Published online October 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602948 | DOI:
Why Stay Together? a Pluralist Approach to Secession and Federation

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None of the current Anglo‐American theories of secession gives proper consideration to the most common grievance voiced by national minorities in multinational states—that the terms of federation are either unfair or have been violated by the majority. If this charge were a plausible and necessary justification for threatening with secession, then it would also follow that a national minority is morally bound to maintain the unity of the existing state as long as fair terms of federation are respected. That is the main idea addressed in this chapter. Arguments are advanced against a right to self‐determination and in favour of a right to self‐government that can be sufficiently realized within a federal framework. Three perspectives on federalism that could help establish the federal rights and duties of minorities are explored, and the matter of territorial self‐government within multinational federations is addressed.

Keywords: federalism; federation; minority groups; multiculturalism; multinational states; nationalism; rights; secession; self‐determination; self‐government

Chapter.  14071 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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