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The consequences of partisan intervention in secessionist wars: Lessons from South Asia

Ganguly, R. (1997) The consequences of partisan intervention in secessionist wars: Lessons from South Asia. Contemporary South Asia, 6 (1). pp. 5-26.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09584939708719803
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Abstract

Secession is ‘the withdrawal, from an existing state and its central government, of part of this state, the withdrawing part consisting of citizens and the territory they occupy’. In effect, it is a narrower sub-category of the broader concept of separatism—which includes irredentism, devolution, autonomy, and other types of limited self-determination—in the sense that the ultimate objective of a secessionist movement is to acquire international acceptance and recognition as a sovereign member of the community of states. The task is undoubtedly difficult and it ¡s generally believed that to accomplish it secessionists urgently need (and usually do seek) military and politico-diplomatic support from other states in the international system. Since most states consider secession to be an illegal act and resist it with force if necessary, secessionists must be ready and able to engage in military confrontation in order to neutralize the central government’s opposition to secession. Being usually the weaker side, most secessionists therefore come to depend upon outside military help. On the other hand, politico- diplomatic support and recognition from other states is crucial if secessionists are to overcome the pro-state bias of the international community. Thus conventional wisdom dictates that a secessionist movement’s durability and international acceptability depends upon its ability to acquire partisan support from other states in the international system.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Copyright: 1997 Journals Oxford Ltd
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/23940
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