IR SEMINAR- Timothy William Waters-Indiana University Maurer School of Law

Author: CASE










MONDAY, December 7,2015


CAS Z-27  - 16:00


Name: Timothy William Waters-Indiana University Maurer School of Law


Title: Secession is a European Value: Thinking about Self-Determination, Subsidiarity, and the European Union


Abstract:There is a strong animus against the idea of secession, which is seen as violating the integrative values of the European Union. This animus is misguided, and this essay show two things: first, that secession should be understood as an act of subsidiarity, and as such is in fact fully consistent with European values; and second, that we have the means for realizing those values in international law and politics generally by using the language of self-determination– but not the contemporary doctrine of self-determination,rather a radically democratic form: a right to secession. Beginning with a critique of a prominent attack on Catalan secession, this essay then demonstrates the ethical and legal relationship between subsidiarity and secession, the usefulness of self-determination as a justificatory framework, the advantages of a radical right to secession, and the moral case for embracing secession as a European value.




Timothy William Waters is professor at Indiana University Maurer School of Law and associate director of its Center for Constitutional Democracy. His research principally focuses on the formation of states and on ethnic conflict, including its regulation in international criminal law. He holds a JD from Harvard, a master's of international affairs from Columbia, and a BA from UCLA. He has also taught at Central European University, Boston University, and the University of Mississippi, and has worked for the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the Open Society Institute.