A cosmopolitan instrumentalist theory of secession

Southern Journal of Philosophy 61 (3):527-551 (2023)
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I defend the cosmopolitan instrumentalist theory of secession, according to which a group has a right to secede only if this would promote cosmopolitan justice. I argue that the theory is preferable to other theories of secession because it is an entailment of cosmopolitanism, which is independently attractive, and because, unlike other theories of secession, it allows us to give the answers we want to give in cases like secession of the rich or secession that would make things worse for minorities. I defend the view against the objections that it allows for colonialism and annexation, that it is not a distinct theory, and that it is impractical.

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Daniel Weltman
Ashoka University


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