Autonomy as an Enduring Concept
  • Michael C. Davis
Conference paper

This panel offers two very different papers which engage the two most common ways of exploring autonomy: Hurst Hannum engages that branch of research that explores how autonomy demands arise and what they purport to solve; while Markku Suksi engages a dominant literature that considers how different autonomy arrangements are structured and actually work. In combination they offer a rich assessment of the benefits and limitations of autonomy.

In looking at the use of autonomy in conflict situations Hurst Hannum offers a dynamic but cautious assessment. His work has long appreciated autonomy as an alternative to independence and separation while sounding a note of caution as to its limitations. This paper very much tracks that body of work. I will argue here that giving enduring international law teeth to autonomy arrangements may offer an alternative to the frequent march toward independence and the violence it entails. I will quibble with some of the points Hannum makes in his assessment of autonomy in conflict situations but this questioning is I hope very much in the tradition of his writings on the international recognition of autonomy.


Conflict Situation Chinese Leader International Recognition Minority Identity Ethnic Minority Community 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael C. Davis
    • 1
  1. 1.GPA DepartmentChinese University of Hong KongHong KongChina

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