Autonomy and Self-determination
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Autonomy and Self-determination

Between Legal Assertions and Utopian Aspirations

Edited by Peter Hilpold

Europe has reached a crisis point, with the call for self-determination and more autonomy stronger than it ever has been. In this book, renowned international lawyers give a detailed account of the present state of international law regarding self-determination and autonomy.
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Chapter 6: Secession as a new constitutional problem: the question of independence in autonomy systems

Ulrike Haider-Quercia


In the last two decades secessionist claims became more and more a constitutional law perspective as several European states with highly developed autonomy systems have to deal with the request for territorial independence of some of their regions with differentiated cultural and linguistic identity. The author examines the concept of ‘negotiated independence’, that means constitutional provisions and procedures which envisage the establishment of a referendum on independence. She points out that such political arrangements within the existing constitutional framework have so far contributed to mitigate previously virulent secession struggles, especially if they are coupled with the expansion of regional autonomous rights.

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