Secession is at once the most revolutionary and the most institutionally conservative of political constructs. Its revolutionary character lies in its ultimate challenge to state sovereignty;1 its conservative side, in the reinforcement of the virtues of the latter. This inherent duality is reflected in the legal regulation surrounding secession. With very limited exceptions, secession is prohibited both by international law as well as, albeit often implicitly, by the overwhelming majority of state constitutions. Nevertheless, a state born out of a successful...
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