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Subject details

  • Topics
    • Creating new states
    • The State: the centralization of political power on a bounded territory
    • The Nation: how to mobillize people to demand and obey a state of their own
    • The principle of Self-determination and decolonization
    • Ways of creating new states out of old ones
    • Case studies: dissolution of states by sequential secessions
    • Peaceful and violent secessions from states
    • How to explain secessions
    • Justifying secesssions and recognizing new states
    • Unification
    • Towards the unification of the world
  • Study resources
    • Instructional Methods
      • Disscusion forum/Discussion Board
      • Online assignment submission
      • Standard Media
    • Online Materials
      • Resources and Links

At the completion of this subject 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.
  • Assignment 1 - Review Essay (15%)
  • Assignment 2 - Research Essay (40%)
  • Assignment 3 - Take home examination (35%)
  • Assignment 4 - Participation in Weekly Discus (10%)

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 subject

Entry Requirements

Equivalent Subjects

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

  • MAQ-PLT310

Special requirements

No special requirements

This subject 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 subject 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.

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