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Authors: Martin Cloonan (The York Management School)
Published in: 1997
Length: 27 pages
Data source: Published sources

Abstract

What is a "people"? What is "self-determination"? Under what circumstances is a "people" justified in using violence to achieve "self-determination"? This case introduces these issues in an imaginative and realistic way. Based on the situation in Ireland, it describes the history and current politics of the country of Manjova pointing out that two distinctive "peoples" both claim "self-determination" over the same territory. The case focuses on Professor James Heddington, a political scientist, who is hired by a major foundation to advise it as to which "people", if any, are most entitled to "self-determination" and whether either has justification in using violence to achieve its aims. The case could be used at any level of undergraduate courses in Politics and might be especially useful in a course on British Politics because of its parallel with Northern Ireland. It could also be used in courses in Comparative Politics or World Politics since it has bearings on questions to do with nationalism, the state, self-determination and the meaning of nation or people. There is sufficient material here to last two seminars, but it could be confined to one. Experience in using this case suggests that it is quite useful for students to be encouraged to analyse and define the central concepts in the case, such as "people", "nation" and "self-determination" before they get stuck in to the substantive issues. It is also important for students to be encouraged to reach a conclusion as to how the foundation should be advised.

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Abstract

What is a "people"? What is "self-determination"? Under what circumstances is a "people" justified in using violence to achieve "self-determination"? This case introduces these issues in an imaginative and realistic way. Based on the situation in Ireland, it describes the history and current politics of the country of Manjova pointing out that two distinctive "peoples" both claim "self-determination" over the same territory. The case focuses on Professor James Heddington, a political scientist, who is hired by a major foundation to advise it as to which "people", if any, are most entitled to "self-determination" and whether either has justification in using violence to achieve its aims. The case could be used at any level of undergraduate courses in Politics and might be especially useful in a course on British Politics because of its parallel with Northern Ireland. It could also be used in courses in Comparative Politics or World Politics since it has bearings on questions to do with nationalism, the state, self-determination and the meaning of nation or people. There is sufficient material here to last two seminars, but it could be confined to one. Experience in using this case suggests that it is quite useful for students to be encouraged to analyse and define the central concepts in the case, such as "people", "nation" and "self-determination" before they get stuck in to the substantive issues. It is also important for students to be encouraged to reach a conclusion as to how the foundation should be advised.

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