Self Determination

Self-determination can be defined as nations being able to decide how they are governed. Applied to individuals, this could be called autonomy or independence. The belief in self-determination is

based on the view that nations are a genuine political association and that only they know what is In their own national interest.

Self-determination sounds relatively uncontroversial, yet different forms of nationalism have very different views about its benefits and desirability for other nations. Some nationalists rest on the belief that international order can only exist when all nations have the right of self-determination; others believe that only they, and no other nation, have the right to self-determination.

Many conflicts throughout history have existed because of self-determination. The Balkans war in the 1990s came after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when the Serbs, Croats, Slovenians and Bosnians - each of whom identified themselves as individual nations - fought to win self-determination.