Self-determination and the Constitution of Hierarchies after Empire

Date/Time
Date(s) - 28/02/2019
18:30 - 20:00


This year’s ASEN Seminar Series has as topic: ‘Nationalism and International Relations’. The six seminars will explore, over the year, the intersection between self-determination, identity, foreign policy and state behaviour.

Maja Spanu (Junior Research Fellow, University of Cambridge) will deliver the seminar titled: ‘Self-determination and the Constitution of Hierarchies after Empire’. She will offer a re-reading of the history of self-determination over the twentieth century. Throughout the past century, commentators, political actors and academics have seen the principle of self-determination as constituting -potentially or in fact- an equalitarian post-imperial international system through sovereign equality. Maja argues that self-determination is in fact bound up with hierarchy. She thus reveals the existence of a tension between the equalitarian aspiration of self-determination and practices attached to its realization that create hierarchies between older and newer states as well as within the latter in the way national political communities are organised. Maja examines the three major 20th century waves of state formation after empire: after World War I, in the post-World War II decolonization years, and with the collapse of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

The event is free and no ticket is needed. It will take place in the New Academic Building, LSE on the 28th of February 2019.