n Tydskrif vir die Suid-Afrikaanse Reg - 'n Kritiese ontleding van die belangrikste strominge in die selfbeskikkingsdiskoers die kontemporêre internasionale reg

Volume 2004, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0257-7747
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2207



This article analyses the two contending concepts of self determination within the discourse of contemporary international law: and self determination. Each concept is tooted in its own set of political assumptions and pursues opposing political objectives. The dominant position, which is acknowledged in positive law provides legal endorsement for the existing statist comprising a fixed number of territorial states with permanent boundaries. Statist self determination provides the legal apparatus for a political strategy for preserving the existing order of territorial states. This, for very long unopposed, conservative position of self determination has in recent times been exposed to the mounting challenge of national self determination, which presses for the self determination of peoples. This progressive and potentially disruptive position of self determination severely jeopardises the existing order of territorial states, posing the risk of secession from, and dismemberment of (multinational) territorial states.

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