The project is funded by the Swedish Research Council. The project team includes Ludvig Beckman (director), Ulf Mörkenstam and Jouni Reinikainen.

Recent years have witnessed an increasing emphasis of political rights in international law and global political norms. In membership policy, various NGO’s and international organisations push for political inclusion of permanent resident non-citizens; in minority policy, there is a similar trend in several states towards recognition of self-determination for indigenous peoples; and, in international politics, the recent recognition of the independence of Kosovo by a large number of Western states puts pressure on other states to accept a right to secession. If these trends are further reinforced, we may actually be witnessing the nascence of new rights to inclusion, self-determination and secession, that challenges the nation-states’ far-reaching discretion in interpreting and institutionalising political rights.

The purpose of this project is to investigate—empirically as well as normatively—the afforcement of the rights to inclusion, self-determination and secession. Two research questions will structure the study. The first is descriptive and concerns the extent to which a new set of political rights have been institutionalised, politically and legally, by contemporary nation-states. The second question is normative and concerns if and when rights to inclusion, self-determination and secession ought to be recognised.