Dealing with diversity in international law: Self-determination and statehood


Galbreath, D. J., 2005. Dealing with diversity in international law: Self-determination and statehood. International Journal of Human Rights, 9 (4), pp. 539-550.

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(Review Article) The contradiction between the principles of state sovereignty and national selfdetermination has been a constant theme in international law. Here we see several approaches to this theme. First, we engage with the underlying questions of self-determination in the context of state–minority relations. Second, we address the relationship between international law and minority rights. In particular, the essay reviews the changing nature of self-determination as we move away from the post-colonial period. Finally, we review the relationship between selfdetermination and state sovereignty. This relationship between the two principles is further complicated since self-determination both leads to and violates state sovereignty. The essay finds that often the role of international law is over-estimated in its consideration of legal enforcement. Specifically, the essay concludes that we must maintain a firm grasp on the international ‘politics’ of self-determination in order to truly understand the changing nature of the international system and its impact on minority rights.


Item Type Articles
CreatorsGalbreath, D. J.
DepartmentsFaculty of Humanities & Social Sciences > Politics Languages and International Studies
ID Code21651


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