Creating New States - 2017

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

2017 Fees
Domestic 798.00
HECS 793.00
International 1,048.00

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 know:

  1. how to identify and analyze a political process when it occurs at different periods and in a different social and geographical space
  2. how to identify, compare and contrast the salient aspects of a single political process taking place in these different temporal and spatial locations
  3. how to use social science theories in the performance of above two tasks
  4. how to use social science theories in an attempt to identify the causal factors which may explain such political processes
  5. how to 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 — Take home examination (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.

  • 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.

1Creating new states
2The State: the centralization of political power on a bounded territory
3The Nation: how to mobillize people to demand and obey a state of their own
4The principle of Self-determination and decolonization
5Ways of creating new states out of old ones
6Case studies: dissolution of states by sequential secessions
7Peaceful and violent secessions from states
8How to explain secessions
9Justifying secesssions and recognizing new states
11Towards the unification of the world

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.

Textbook information for this unit is currently being updated and will be available soon. Please check back regularly for updates. Alternatively, visit the The Co-op website and enter the unit details to search for available textbooks.

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.