The United Nations Friend or Foe of Self-Determination. The purpose of this edited collection is to appraise the role of the UN in relation to the principle of self-determination. This book takes a practical approach to discussing what role the UN plays in cases of self-determination and, importantly, it also ventures beyond this area’s usual discussions of the inherent conflict between self-determination and sovereignty.
The chapters address the pursuit of the right to self-determination through a variety of case studies, such as post-statehood in South Sudan and East Timor; Indigenous peoples; hybrid self-determination in post-intrastate conflict; the balancing of the human rights approach in Cyprus; remedial right to secede in the cases of failed states; Palestinian and Sahrawi resistance; geopolitics in Jammu and Kashmir; and the forgotten story of micro-states. Overall, this collection shows that the solutions might be in moving the paradigm beyond the state-centrism of the system and the UN itself. This edited collection would not exist without the support and guidance from Stephen McGlinchey, Editor-in-Chief at E-International Relations. I would also like to thank the copy-editing team, and everybody involved in editorial assistance. Mostly, I would like to thank all the contributing authors for all their hard work and patience.
Articles 1 and 55 of the United Nations (UN) Charter in 1945, followed by the UN General Assembly Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples in 1960. With the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations in 1970, the UN General Assembly then expanded the concept of self-determination beyond decolonisation. However, the practical complications with sometimes violent effects of various interpretations of the concept have only been exacerbated by the ‘absence of any institutional framework or guidelines for the examination of self-determination claims under international law’ (Quane 1998). The United Nations – Friend or Foe of Self-Determination?