Territorial Conflict and Territorial Rights: The Crimean Question Reconsidered

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This article focuses on contemporary theories of territorial rights in political and legal philosophy and explores their implications for the case of Crimea, focusing on three main accounts of territorial rights: Liberal nationalist, Lockean, and Kantian. The article advances the legal-political account of the "people" and its territorial rights as a promising approach to theorizing the corporate agents that have potentially valid territorial rights and claims. While normative theory does not yield a single unequivocal judgment that identifies one claimant as the solely justified territorial right-holder in Crimea, the application of general principles of territorial rights theory can help identify the pertinent considerations for the case, which clarify the normative implications of each potential resolution. While no party has an absolutely just territorial claim to Crimea, this article offers a qualified defense of the existence of a distinct "Crimean people," defined by the distinct political history of Crimea and its long-standing legacy of autonomous legal-political institutions, which may constitute a shared political project for the culturally diverse population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)608-630
Number of pages23
JournalGerman Law Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2015

Bibliographical note

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law


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