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Political Science 4426F/G Lecture Notes - Chauvinism, Decision-Making, Peacekeeping

Political Science
Course Code
Political Science 4426F/G
James S Quinn

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Ultimately it is up to the parties themselves to agree to accept a
form of democratic decision making that is inevitably something
less than their stronger preference for complete control of their
group’s destiny
Rarely are the models, options, and plans formulated by
international mediators in the course of the peace process
informed by a coherent analysis of the basic approaches to
power sharing, instead, the approach is usually ad hoc, in which
diplomats and analysts seek to craft appropriate solutions given
the expected willingness of the parties to accept alternative
outcomes. Failure can result in a new round of conflict.
What is immediately feasible and minimally acceptable to the
parties often comes before what is desirable in terms of conflict
management over the long term
Are existing boarders sacrosanct?
A first fundamental question: is maintaining the cohesion and
territorial integrity of a given state a desirable, feasible
While secessionist tendencies are created by domestic
conditions, whether they succeed or fail is ultimately up to the
international community, which can choose to recognize a
groups right to territorial sovereignty and self determination or
deny recognition when faces with ethnic conflicts in which
groups seek self determination through secession, with few
exceptions, the international community has an institutional
tendency to do nothing or very little, invoking the principle of
noninterference and implicitly denying group self determination
Only in recent years, with particular reference to the collapse of
the former Soviet Union, the dissolution of a federated
Yugoslavia, and the bifurcation of the former Czechoslovakia, has
the international community endorsed the creation of new states
outside of the decolonization framework.
Secession is a solution of last resort
If political divorce is relatively peaceful, there is no sound reason
to insist on maintaining a states boundaries as long as the
outcome is sustainable, mutually acceptable to the parties, and
expected to be internally democratic- EG Quebec
Dahl’s Seven guidelines applicable to the international
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