Secession: The Morality Of Political Divorce From Fort Sumter To Lithuania And Quebec

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Secession: The Morality Of Political Divorce From Fort Sumter To Lithuania And Quebec

By Allen Buchanan
Westview Press, 1991
174 pp. $38.50
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The secession of Croatia and Slovenia, the breakup of the Soviet Union, and who knows what other imminent disintegrations, make a study of "political divorce" most opportune. This is an intriguing book, but because of its limitations, it serves mainly to whet the interest. Written by a professor of philosophy, it presents a highly original discourse on the morality of secession. The moral case for secession based on such goals as protecting liberty and furthering diversity are weighed against other aims such as protecting majority rule and preventing anarchy: the secessionists win. When, however, the author strays into the constitutional dimension of the right to secede, the analysis is far more shaky.