6 National self-determination

What about a more restrictive ‘remedial right?’

Some theorists, such as Allen Buchanan, favour placing higher hurdles in the path of would-be secessionist movements. Rather than endorsing some rather permissive form of democratic right to national self-determination, he favours a more restrictive remedial right. Only those ‘national’ groups who can show that they suffer systematic historical injustice, or have so suffered, have a strong case for independent statehood. In one sense, this approach takes us full circle; if there is no great injustice, and if a minority ‘national’ community (Bs or Cs, for example, in country Y) is governed in a largely democratic manner, then we ought to favour the status quo.