The People and Self-Determination

Cara Nine

in Global Justice and Territory

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199580217
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741456 | DOI:
The People and Self-Determination

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Chapter 3 describes the kind of agent that may claim territorial rights. In order for a people to qualify as a candidate for self-determination rights over territory, the people must: (i) demonstrate the capacity to meet minimal standards of justice, and (ii) have members who share a common conception of justice. The first criterion directly follows from the justification for territorial political power. Any group with a claim to significant political power (as comes with claims to territorial rights) must demonstrate the minimal capacity to establish institutions that function effectively in providing the objects of members’ basic individual needs. The second criterion is derived from the political legitimacy requirement. As political legitimacy requires self-rule, it presupposes a conception of the political ‘self’, or people. The view that the people is constituted by those who share a common conception of justice explains the relevant features of a unique collective, enduring agent that may hold self-determination rights over territory.

Keywords: self-determination; territory; peoples; common conception of justice; political legitimacy; nationalism; democratic theory; consent theory

Chapter.  12177 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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