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Ethics Of Secession: Kosovo Study Essay

4883 words - 20 pages

It would be almost impossible to argue that states are not morally suspect and coercive institutions. It is equally difficult to argue that an individual or a group within such a state should remain in such a union. Although anarchists would excitedly applaud such notions, most would not. Due to strong secessionist movements all over the world and ever present concept of a state, there are certain criteria and ethical conventions that have been developed to guide states and separatists when dealing with a complicated issue of secession. Due to the fluidity of international law it is almost impossible to expect that any rules and conventions will be strictly followed, but it is not ...view middle of the document...

The people involved experience loss both economically and internally. Allen Buchanan in his book 'Secession' has attempted to answer the question of justice and ethics in secession and also to explain the rationale behind some movements for self-determination. This book does not successfully tackle the issue of secession but when combined with the ideas of Robert Nozick and John Rawls one may develop a clearer picture on secession and by relying on the ideas if these two intellectuals, combined with Buchanan's book, one can attempt to reasonably explain why secession in case of Kosovo and Metohija is neither viable nor ethical.Allen Buchanan informs the reader at the outset of his discourse on secession that in the end it is power alone which will make secession successful or not. The power that Buchanan is speaking of is one wielded by hegemonic states of the past and the present. Although he gives the reader an immediate insight into power relations in the discipline of international relations, he indulges the reader by engaging in certain possibilities and possible outcomes.Buchanan places an insurmountable amount of emphasis on justice and ethics when concluding what are just reasons for secession and just reasons to resist secession, even via violent action. Buchanan claims that the core issue with secession is that it is complicated by the distributive justice of fixed and natural goods, thus one may conclude that requirements for justice, or injustice, need to be fulfilled for secession to be just. In order to determine the justice of secession one must determine the injustices which havebeen perpetrated against the secessionists and determine if they are sufficient to justify such action.Several major issues arise out of the Buchanan reading which are related to John Rawls and his study of distribution of goods. First notion that Buchanan touches on is one of 'distributitive justice'. This concept deals with redistribution of wealth from the well off to the worse off, some contemporary examples might include Slovenia dispute with the Yugoslavian federation or North Italy with respect to South Italy and the polarity of wealth distribution in that case. In these cases it is evident that the wealthier parts of the nations in question do not wish to aid the poorer parts, and thus view their economic assistance as a drain on their citizenry, therefore threatening their identity. Buchanan claims that well off states in these cases have valid arguments, namely a grievance of the distribution of goods. This concept of wealth distribution, and ethics of it, is relevant to philosophy of John Rawls. Rawls, in his book 'Theory of Justice' claims that any distribution of goods that benefits some, in an unequal manner, must benefit individuals in the 'worst off position'. Rawls see this type of 'distributive justice' not only as fair, but as desirable by all rational beings seeking the good life. Since secession and desire for it is tangible and real...

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