Theories of the Right of Secession: A Republican Analysis

Lluis Perez-Lozano


Republican theorists have paid little attention to the normative problems of secession conflicts. So far, there is no such thing as a democratic republican theory of right of secession (TRS); nor any comprehensive analysis of current TRS has ever been undertaken from a democratic republican point of view. This article tries to fill this second gap as a first step in order to fill that first one. In doing so, it shows how secession conflicts pose threats for two core democratic republican values: freedom and inclusion. The threats are, concretely, those of exclusion, blackmailing minorities, arbitrary permanent majorities, and instability. The article also shows how, due to their respective pro-unionist or pro-secessionist biases, no current TRS seems to be able to handle those threats; and briefly outlines how a democratic republican TRS, based on a non-unilateralist logic, could be developed.


ascriptivism; factions; plebiscitarianism; remedialism; republicanism; secession

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