Contemporary Separatist Conflict - Essay Example

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Consider the case of Kosovo, where the popular opinion is that any declaration of independence is believed to set a dangerous precedent for…
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Contemporary Separatist Conflict
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Seperatism vs. Self Governance The world has over the ages witnessed countless nations and regions that have not been able to enjoy the privilege of self determination. Consider the case of Kosovo, where the popular opinion is that any declaration of independence is believed to set a dangerous precedent for other regions dealing with similar issues. one of the main reasons for this concern is due to the fact that such trends tend to condone any effort towards the adjustment of borders or ethnicities. In countries such as Spain, Israel and Russia, ethnic minorities have resorted to violent means as an integral part of their struggle for achieving self determination and independence. While some find this acceptable due to various reasons, others do not approve of such strategies (Marianne Heiberg, 2007).
Though the issue of separatism is a raging topic for debate and political contention in almost every country in the present day, it must be understood that it is simply not possible for all minorities to have their own political and geographical boundaries. However, the larger nation should recognize their presence, contribution and their aspiration to self determination when providing them with any set of rights (Metta Spencer, 1998). As long as both recognize and respect each other, separatism as a concept does not exist. As such, separatism today exists predominantly in the minds of people and is demonstrated primarily through violent and political means.
People need to realize that demarcating territory on the basis of ethnicity is simply impossible in all cases as such areas are ethnically unclear due to a dispersed population. People need to realize that it is best to live together in a manner that provides for and encourages the right to self determination. After brutal wars such as in the case of the Balkans, many people realize that fighting has not achieved the intended goal and the only way multi-ethnic groups develop is by way of mutual coexistence (Margaret Moore, 2006).
One of the best examples for such a successful approach can be attributed to the Danish minority that lives in the northern part of Germany. The Danish group have due representation in the parliament, have an education system with Danish as one of the major mediums of instruction and enjoy normal rights as other native Germans. This is one of the few examples where a minority lives normally within a large country where mutual respect and trust helps ensure the development of the region. Violence and separatism seldom help achieve the desired results in the present democratic world and its only aftermath comprises long lasting consequences for the people who are left grappling with difficulties (Charles Beitz, 2008). We need to use civilized tools to solve such issues through dialog and resolve and the best way is through a compromise and total aversion of any conflict.
The modification of the topic from separatism to include the notion of autonomy and self determination highlights all the aspects discussed above. Not only does it highlight the increasing realization among people that separatism is a rather unrealistic method of achieving equality, it also shows that autonomy and subsequent coexistence as part of a larger national arrangement can help mitigate many of the problems that some of the countries in the world continue to face even today.
1. Marianne Heiberg (2007), Terror, insurgency, and the state: ending protracted conflicts. University of Pennsylvania.
2. Metta Spencer (1998), Separatism: democracy and disintegration. London: Rowman & Littlefield.
3. Margaret Moore (2006), National self-determination and secession. Oxford University Press.
4. Charles Beitz (2008), Political theory and international relations. Princeton University Press. Read More
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