Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 06, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412958660 | Print ISBN: 9781412958653 | Online ISBN: 9781412958660| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Simon L. R. Caney
The term secession is normally employed to refer to a situation where a community breaks away from its present state and founds its own independent state that then has jurisdiction over the territory that is said to belong to the seceding community. There have been numerous instances of secession. The early 1990s, for example, saw the break-up of the USSR and Yugoslavia as many national communities seceded to form their own states. Other minority groups in other parts of the world (including some Basques, some Quebecois, and some Scots) continue to make the case for secession. South Ossetia has sought to secede from Georgia, but this has not been recognized by many other states. Of course, further back in history, 11 southern states in the United States attempted to secede from the Union, leading to the American Civil War. These cases raise the question of whether secession is justified and, ...