The future of self-determination and territorial integrity in the Asian Century

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8 Scopus citations


The twentieth century saw the rise of two important and interrelated norms. The first is the norm of self-determination, which advances the right of stateless nations to govern themselves. The second is the norm of territorial integrity, which upholds the principle that political borders should be respected. A consequence of these norms has been an increase in secessionism, a decline in conquest, and a proliferation of states. This paper will examine the development of these norms, their interrelationship, and their prospects for the future. Attention will be given to three important questions: (1) Under what conditions does a norm endure beyond a power transition? (2) How likely is an ascendant China or India to support the norms? (3) What does a power transition and the corresponding support of these norms augur for the future of secession, conquest, and the number of sovereign states?.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-478
Number of pages22
JournalPacific Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • international norms
  • secession
  • self-determination
  • sovereignty
  • territorial integrity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Sociology and Political Science


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