By the force of arms: violence and morality in secessionist conflict

Aleksandar Pavković*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


How does a group acquire the right to secede from an existing state? This is the central question that contemporary normative theorists of secession-including Christopher Wellman in this volume-address. The question I address in this chapter is quite different: can the use of military force in order to achieve or to prevent a secession be justified on moral grounds? Even if a group does have a right to secede, this does not necessarily imply that it is morally justified to use military force and to kill people in an attempt to secure secession or independence. Whether or not there are rights to independent statehood, one can still ask, is independent statehood worth the sacrifice of human life and the misery that attends any military conflict?

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSecession as an International Phenomenon
EditorsDon H. Doyle
Place of PublicationAthens, GA
PublisherUniversity of Georgia Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)0820337374
ISBN (Print)9780820330082
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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