Posts tagged ‘Crimean self-determination’

March 9, 2014

Borgen Speaks to BBC, Radio France Internationale, and Al Jazeera re: Ukraine Crisis

As the Ukrainian crisis escalates, Christopher Borgen, Professor and Associate Dean for International Studies, has shared his expertise on international crises and secession with various international new outlets.  In this interview (starting at 10’20), Professor Borgen spoke to Radio France Internationale about secession and irredentism in Crimea.  Professor Borgen was also interviewed on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) newshour on the question of self-determination for Crimea.  In addition, Al Jazeera quoted Professor Borgen in this article on the crisis.  Here’s an excerpt:
Despite the unprecedented nature of Crimea’s request, most analysts agree that Russia’s rationale for supporting it — that ethnic cleansing of Russians could arise if Crimea is left under the control of the new, anti-Russian government in Kiev — doesn’t hold water. “Some have argued that the world community should be more accepting of secession when there’s an issue of long-term, severe, oppression — but only when there are facts to support that finding,” said Christopher Borgen, an international law expert at St. John’s University School of Law who has written extensively on the separatist crisis in Moldova. “As a matter of law, that is highly controversial. As a matter of politics, Russia would need to persuade the world there had been long-term oppression in Crimea and that secession is the only viable option.”
March 7, 2014

Borgen Weighs in on Ukraine Crisis

Christopher Borgen, Professor and Associate Dean for International Studies, has written a series of blog posts on Opinion Juris about the current crisis in Ukraine.  The most recent post involves the Crimean parliament’s decision to secede Crimea from Ukraine to join Russia through the use of a parliamentary vote and a referendum.  Here’s an excerpt:

The legal issue here is really one of Ukrainian Constitutional law more than of international law, because, as it is generally understood, there is no right to secede under international law. Under international law, a secession is neither a right nor necessarily illegal. It is treated as a fact: a secession either was successful, it was not, or it is still being contested.

There is, however, a right to self-determination, which is understood to be, for communities that are not colonies and are within existing states, meaningful political participation and the pursuit of economic, social and cultural development under the auspices of that existing state, in this case Ukraine.  This conception of internal self-determination makes self-determination closely related to the respect of minority rights and it does not include a right to dismember an existing state. Furthermore, modern views of self-determination also recognize the “federalist” option of allowing a certain level of cultural or political autonomy as a means to satisfy the norm of self-determination.

You can also read Professor Borgen’s earlier posts about the background of the conflict and sanctions, Russian intervention in Ukraine,  and who speaks for Ukraine.


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