National self-determination: What constitutes the right to secede?

The declaration of Kosovan independence and events in Georgia have shown the explosive nature of demands for self determination. From western to eastern europe and beyond there are unresolved issues of self determination with the potential for serious international repercussions. Dr. Richard Mole is a lecturer in the Politics of Central Europe at the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies. He has undertaken research on the relationship between national identity and foreign policy and has worked at the University of Pennsylvania’s Centre for the study of ethnopolitical conflict. He will talk about the right to secede and the role of nationalism in demands for self determination.

Richard is the editor of the Discursive Constructions of Identity in European Politics Socio-linguists and discourse analysts have long been aware of the fact that language does not simply describe a pre-existing reality but is rather the medium through which the social world is created and given meaning. While other branches of learning have been slow to take this on board, there is nevertheless a growing awareness of the importance of discourse in the creation of identities and the legitimisation of social structures and moral and political hierarchies. Discursive Constructions of Identity in European Politics brings together specialists from critical discourse analysis and critical approaches to communications, history, literature, media, sociology, politics and International Relations to discuss the discursive construction of identities and analyse how specific identity discourses condition and constrain knowledge and action with regard to various socio-political issues in Europe.