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The Sovereign State and the Right to Secede. Historical Examples and Theoretical Reasons Concerning the Benefits of Political Regulation

  • Carmelo MorenoEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

The examples of the secessionist consultations of 1980 and 1995 in Canada (involving the region of Quebec) and the referendum of 2014 in Great Britain (involving the region of Scotland) are antecedents making it possible to observe a totally novel phenomenon that has been little studied in the political theory of the modern democratic state: the idea of a state that democratically accepts its possible divisibility as a constitutive element of its raison d'être. Far from considering this a weakness, the central aim of this text is to analyse the benefits and advantages provided by such a resilient conception of this idea of state sovereignty, especially in those cases where there are secessionist tensions that threaten its legitimacy in a more or less persistent way. The initial idea is that a state is resilient on the question of its divisibility in a more or less express form not only when it accepts the existence of secessionist claims, but when it proactively accepts to legally regulate the conditions and procedures for carrying out the legal exercise of this right where appropriate, democratically respecting the interests and participation of the plurality of actors involved. To carry out this formulation, the text points out a series of theoretical arguments that should serve for implementing a theory of secession so that this right is legally effective and has democratic guarantees.

Keywords

Secession Political theory of the state Constitutional state Referendum Sovereignty 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of the Basque Country, Department of Political Science and AdministrationBilbaoSpain

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