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 8: Italian approaches to self-determination: theory and practice

Antonello Tancredi


The affirmation of the principle of nationality in Italian legal scholarship is contemporary with the inauguration of the first chair of international law ever created in Italy at the University of Turin in 1851. However, the same holder of that chair, Pasquale Stanislao Mancini, once appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Italian unitary State between 1881 and 1885 launched the Italian colonial expansion policy in Africa. In the second post-war period, the Italian government became a strong supporter of the decolonization process, which was an excellent cause around which the international image of the young republic could be reconstructed. The doctrine, on the other hand, is still divided between a universalistic approach and another more focused on the reconstruction of specific, general or conventional norms concerning self-determination.

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