Can a decision to secede be made democratically?

Secession is a landmark moment that defines not only the destiny of the seceding state but also for the parent state that is torn apart. With its focus on the era when secessionist struggles are getting more momentum across the world since the end of the Cold War, this paper will argue that secession cannot be made democratically despite the democratic nature of the process. In the beginning, the paper looks at the three theories of the morality of secession, namely, national self-determination theories, choices theories, and ‘just-cause’ theories to build a conceptual framework with which to highlight if secession decision is democratic or not. Each theory is further illustrated by a contemporary case of secession such as Somaliland and Kosovo while examining the ‘marriage’ of the two political themes, secession and democracy. Furthermore, the paper examines the arguments for and against separation being democratic though the conclusion is based on the conception that the secession decision cannot democratically be made because it is logistically challenging, legally controversial and democratically uncertain. Continue reading “Can a decision to secede be made democratically?”