Creating New States - 2016

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 3
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: SP1 , SP2
  • Availability for 2017: Sem1
  • Assessment: Essay - Review Essay (15%) , Essay 1 - Research Essay (40%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2016 Fees
Domestic 782.00
HECS 782.00
International 1,032.00

This unit was previously known as PLT310 States and Nations.

Since 1914 new states have been continuously created and their existence justified on the basis of the principle of national self-determination: in the last hundred years, the number of independent states has grown from around 52 to more than 195. In most cases, the new states were allegedly ‘created by’ or ‘assigned to’ individual nations. What are those powerful agents, ‘nations,’ that need and create states of their own? How are new states created today? How can we justify the creation of new independent states today, when there are so few if any dependent states - colonies - left? The unit aims to answer these questions by examining both the processes through which territories and populations withdraw - secede – from existing states and the legal and normative framework within which these processes currently take place. In addition, recent attempts at state integration or unification, such as the European Union, and a few plans for a single world state will be briefly discussed.

At the completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1.  identify and analyze a political process when it occurs at different periods and in a different social and geographical space
  2. identify, compare and contrast the salient aspects of a single political process taking place in these different temporal and spatial locations
  3. use social science theories in the performance of above two tasks
  4. use social science theories in an attempt to identify the causal factors which may explain such political processes
  5. use normative (political and ethical) theories to evaluate/assess particular cases of political activity and their outcomes.
  • Essay — Review Essay (15%)
  • Essay 1 — Research Essay (40%)
  • Non-Invigilated Exam (35%)
  • Participation — Participation in Weekly Discus (10%)

Equivalent units

You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following unit(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • PLT310 — States and Nations

Students should have studied some politics at 200 level prior to undertaking this unit.

  • Audio/Visual equipment
  • Broadband access — Students are required to have regular access to a computer and the internet. Mobile devices alone are not sufficient

This unit addresses the following topics.

1The urge for independence: an Introduction
2The state: a story of the centralisation of political power
3The nation: a story of mass mobilisation
4Creating states out of nations: the principle of national self-determination from 1789 to 1989
5Decolonisation, secession and unification: three different ways of state creation
6Dissolution of states by sequential secessions: the USSR, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia
7Peaceful Secessions and Violent Secession: Montenegro (2006) and Chechnya (1994)
8How to explain secessions: an overview
9How to justify a secession: normative theories of secession
10Secession and International Law
11Unification: Germany (1971, 1990), European Union (1993), The World State (?)

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission
  • Standard Media

Online materials

  • Resources and Links

This unit is a core requirement in the following courses:

This unit is an approved elective in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a unit.

Click on the titles of the listed books below to find out more:

Required textbooks

  • Creating New States:theory & Practice Of Secession

    By:Pavkovic & Radan

    ISBN: 9780754671633


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

  • Enquire online

    Need to ask a question that's best put down in words?
    Make an online enquiry.

    Enquire now

    Ready to enrol?

    Start studying this unit now.


    Got a question?

    Get an answer from one of our friendly Student Advisors.