, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 62–84 | Cite as

Das Sezessionsrecht im demokratischen Verfassungsstaat

  • Frank Dietrich
Weitere Aufsätze

The right to secede in democratic states


Currently, many states in Europe and North America have to deal with separatist movements which try to gain independence. Their democratic constitutions are based on several values, e.g. the individual freedom to emigrate and the freedom to leave associations, that appear to speak in favour of allowing secession. The formal recognition of a right to secede meets, however, with two serious objections. Allen Buchanan and Cass Sunstein argue, first, that an exit-option can be used as a permanent veto on majority decisions and, second, that it has negative effects on the political participation of minority groups. In the article it is shown that their criticism does not stand up to closer scrutiny. Nevertheless, a constitutional right to secede raises other issues, such as the drawing of new borders or the distribution of the national debt, that need to be discussed.


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© VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften/Wiesbaden 2007

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  • Frank Dietrich

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