Autonomy, Sovereignty, and Self-Determination
The Accommodation of Conflicting Rights
"With the end of the Cold War, ethnic conflict appears to be reemerging as subnational groups fight to be heard and represented. Hence the value of this well-researched volume. Focusing on individuals and groups rather than states, the author searches for means of accommodating conflicting claims. Government legitimacy is seen as resting on more than simple majority rule, on respect for human rights and the effective participation of all the various segments of society in the decision-making process."—Foreign Affairs
"A very useful, comprehensive, and important contribution to the study of international relations, international law, and comparative politics. . . . Impressive."—Choice
"A right of autonomy within international law might help resolve intrastate conflicts between ethnic groups before they escalate into civil war and demands for secession. So Hurst Hannum argues in this excellent book. . . . These are important suggestions about how to use a flexible approach to sovereignty and the right to ethnic self-determination to create a just and ordered multination-state system."—Political Science Quarterly
"This valuable volume chronicles the issues that arise from disputes over minority rights when the state is seen to represent majority groups better. . . . Must reading for scholars interested in the legal dimension of minority conflicts with the state. It should also be required reading for the leadership of nations currently confronting such issues or international actors who could be helpful in resolving them."—American Political Science Review
"A remarkable treatise."—American Journal of International Law
"Hannum has long combined scholarship with involvement in the making of practical policy. The present work displays this most useful combination of perspectives."—Journal of Asian and African Affairs
Demands for "autonomy" or minority rights have given rise to conflicts, often violent, in every region of the world and under every political system. Through an analysis of contemporary international legal norms and an examination of several specific case studies—including Hong Kong, India, the transnational problems of the Kurds and Saamis, Nicaragua, Northern Ireland, Spain, Sri Lanka, and the Sudan—this book identifies a framework in which ethnic, religious, and regional conflicts can be addressed.
Hurst Hannum is a Professor of Law at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. He has been counsel in cases before European and Inter-American human rights bodies and is a member of the boards of Minority Rights Group International (London) and the International Service for Human Rights (Geneva). Hurst Hannum is the author or editor of numerous books and articles on international law and human rights and serves on editorial advisory boards of Human Rights Law Review and Human Rights Quarterly.