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Bel'kovich R.Yu. The Subject of Secession: The Issue of Legitimacy

Published in journal "Politics and Society", 2015-4 in rubric "Democracy and political processes", pages 522-530.

Resume: The present study is dedicated to the theoretical consideration of the construction of the sibject of secession. The phenomenon of secession threatens the established political and legal order both on global and national levels, as modern law is based on the priority of territorial integrity of the state. At the same time, the majority of modern democratic states pretend that the power exercised by them is of contractual nature. The author examines the question, to what extent the contraposition of the constructs of "nation" (as an admittedly legitimate power holder, having the right for political self-determination) and "subject of secession" (as a potential violator of territorial integrity) is theoretically contradictory and reflects repressive trends of a modern state. The author uses the principle of methodological individualism as the main approach, which implies narrowing of any social phenomena to the behaviour of certain individuals. For the first time the author considers secession as an expression of internal contradictions of statehood, which emerged in the modern era. The author comes up with a conclusion that secession cannot be regarded as an "emergency", since the very existence of a modern state, based on the principle of the rule of the people, implies secession as a necessary form of the self-determination of individuals.

Keywords: international law, territorial integrity, revolution, people, sovereignty, state, self-determination, secession, pluralism, democracy

DOI: 10.7256/1812-8696.2015.4.14819

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