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What is the Democratic Approach to Plebiscitary Secessionism?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
Number of Authors: 12019 (English)In: Ethnopolitics, ISSN 1744-9057, E-ISSN 1744-9065, Vol. 18, no 4, p. 362-378Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The past decades have witnessed an upsurge for a 'plebiscitary' variety of secessionism that primarily is motivated by the strong will for independence that a separatist minority gives voice to in a referendum. In this paper, I examine the answers that four approaches to secession offer to what the democratic way of meeting this form of secessionism would be. I make two points. The first is that our understandings of what would be democratic in this context are determined by our understandings of legitimacy. There is actually no objectively most democratic way to approach plebiscitary secessionism. There are only more or less adequate ways of using democracy from the point of view of legitimacy. My second point is that the legitimacy of a state's authority normally presupposes that the subjects of a state have a possibility to exit their state by way of secession. The adequate use of democracy in cases of plebiscitary secessionism is therefore to treat secession as form of exit and to design an independence referendum as a scan of the choice of the exit option.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 18, no 4, p. 362-378
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-173073DOI: 10.1080/17449057.2019.1591044ISI: 000481575500003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-173073DiVA, id: diva2:1352352
Available from: 2019-09-18 Created: 2019-09-18 Last updated: 2019-09-18Bibliographically approved

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