LISD Workshop Papers Published in Special Edition of Ethnopolitics

The Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination has collaborated with the journal Ethnopolitics to compile a peer-review book based on the workshop, "The Perils and Promises of Self-Determination in the Twenty-First Century," convened by LISD in April 2014. The special volume published by Routledge, Self-Determination in the early Twenty First Century: A Double Edged Concept, is edited by Uriel Abulof, LISD non-resident associate and former visiting researcher, and Karl Cordell, professor of government at Plymouth University (UK). The volume includes fifteen chapters focused around four themes: Self-determination and the End of History, The Dangers of Self-Determination, Self-Determination and the Politics of Identity, and Self-determining the State. Informed by a wealth of experience each of the contributors, this volume offers fresh insights on the future of self-determination and the movements its call engenders.

Self-determination is as old as Enlightenment, but in international politics it is merely one-hundred year old, undergoing its mid-life crisis—and for good reasons. International challenges abound, undercutting the promise of peace and prosperity in our age. Struggles over self-determination—as both principle and practice—lie at the heart of this predicament. While multiethnic states, large (e.g. China, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan) and small (e.g. Belgium, Iraq, Bosnia and Herzegovina) face mounting pressures, stateless nations (e.g. Catalans, Kurds, Scots) regain confidence in demanding independence, with ethnopolitics often manipulated by superpower politics (e.g. Putin’s Russia). The 2014 workshop addressed these and other important transformations of self-determination in the twenty-first century from both theoretical and practical perspectives. The colloquium revisited historical tensions, including peoplehood, territorial integrity, sectarianism, ethnic conflict, globalization, ICT, cultural-religious dimensions, strategic issues, secessionism and generational dimensions, and how changes since the Fall of the Wall in 1989 have reshaped these developments and engendered new ones. 

Committed to the rigorous and original analysis of self-determination worldwide, LISD has organized special seminars to discuss self-determination from both historical and contemporary perspectives. The first of such metings, held some twenty years ago, produced Self-Determination and Self-Administration: A Sourcebook (edited by Wolfgang Danspeckgruber and Arthur Watts), including the Liechtenstein Draft Convention on Self-Determination through Self-Administration, as well as The Self-determination of Peoples: Community, Nation, and State in an Interdependent World (edited by Wolfgang Danspeckgruber).