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Jörg Fisch

Das Selbstbestimmungsrecht der Völker:
Die Domestizierung einer Illusion
(Peoples’ Right to Self-Determination:
The Domestication of an Illusion)

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C.H. Beck, September 2010, 320pp.
ISBN: 34 065 98 587
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The notion that a people might be responsible for its own selfdetermination has its roots in colonialism. Jörg Fisch illustrates this in his study of colonial history from the eighteenth century to the present day. Self-determination was first realized – and simultaneously restricted – in the Americas. It served as an anti-colonial weapon there, but after successfully breaking free of the ruling colonial powers, the new leaders imposed a ban on secession. The United States of America asserted and, to some extent, defined this as the norm, and the secession ban was enforced in the American Civil War. After the Second World War, self-determination became the weapon of the colonised throughout the world, but it also transpired that if nation-building was successfully accomplished then self-determination was considered obsolete. Self-determination is an agitator, concludes Fisch. It must constantly be tamed because its objective is freedom without domination. This lofty goal was not honoured anywhere, but it did function as a programme for action. And therein lies its historical significance.


‘A magnificent book, linking theory and history.’Die Zeit

‘A seminal, wonderfully composed book.’
Der Tagesspiegel
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Author

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Jörg Fisch is professor of General Modern History at the University of Zurich. His research focuses on the history of international law and international relations.
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Rights

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Application for assistance with translation costs –
Geisteswissenschaften International

Translation rights available from:
Verlag C.H.Beck
Literatur – Sachbuch – Wissenschaft
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80801 München
Tel. +49 89 38189-228
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www.chbeck.de

Verlag C.H.Beck is one of Germany’s best known publishing houses. It deals with both books and magazines, employs a staff of over 400 and has approximately 6,000 titles in print. It has a strong base in academic and specialised works on history, ethnology, philology, literary theory, religion and philosophy, politics, art and law. Its fiction list has grown steadily and is respected for the importance its editors place on the literary and artistic merits of its titles.
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