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The Self-Determination of Peoples: Community, Nation, and State in an Interdependent World

Wolfgang Danspeckgruber, editor
ISBN: 978-1-55587-768-2
ISBN: 978-1-55587-793-4
2002/467 pages/LC: 2001019009

"[A] timely contribution to the ongoing debate ... on how best to prevent and resolve the numerous self-determination crises that have engulfed the contemporary international system."—Stephan Wolff,H-Net: Humanities and Science Reviews Online

"This important addition to the literature about the tangled relations between states and minorities offers fresh scholarship, significant insights, and case studies about brutal wars often neglected by the international community. A must for students of international law and relations."—Gidon Gottlieb

"The Self-Determination of Peoples is a must for all those interested in self-determination, sovereignty, and the nation-state in the age of globalization. The theoretical discussion is followed by a range of richly documented case studies.... It is an excellent volume with new approaches to the problems of minorities, states, regions, and border."—Ruth Lapidoth


With contentious issues of sovereignty and self-determination a focus of current world affairs, this comprehensive analysis is especially timely. The authors explore the conceptual, political, legal, cultural, economic, and strategic aspects of self-determination—encompassing both theory and practice—in the context of the evolving international system. Wide-ranging case studies enrich the collection.

The book serves as an excellent introduction to a central set of issues in international politics.


Wolfgang Danspeckgruber is founding director of the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination at Princeton University and instructor in politics and international affairs at Princeton University.


  • Global Change and the Future of Existing Nation-States—Jeffrey Herbst.
  • Self-Determination Under International Law: The Coherence of Doctrine Versus the Incoherence of Experience—Richard Falk.
  • United Nations Intervention and National Sovereignty—Michael W. Doyle.
  • The Limits of Self-Determination—Emilio J. Cárdenas and María Fernanda Cañás.
  • Avoiding the Iron Cage of Legislated Communal Identity—John Waterbury.
  • Language and the Politics of Self-Expression: Mayan Revitalization in Guatemala—Kay B. Warren.
  • Self-Determination and Regionalization in Contemporary Europe—Wolfgang Danspeckgruber.
  • Self-Determination and State Contraction: Britain and Ireland, France and Algeria, Israel and the West Bank/Gaza—Ian S. Lustick.
  • Self-Determination and the Stability of the Russian Federation—William C. Wohlforth and Tyler Felgenhauer.
  • Self-Determination and National Identity Crisis: The Case of Sudan—Francis M. Deng.
  • Can Democracies Accommodate Ethnic Nationalism?: The Rise and Decline of Self-Determination Movements in India—Atul Kohli.
  • Self-Administration and Local Autonomy: Reconciling Conflicting Interests in China—Minxin Pei.
  • A Final Assessment—Wolfgang Danspeckgruber.
  • Appendixes.