self-determination


self-determination
/self"di terr'meuh nay"sheuhn, self'-/, n.
1. determination by oneself or itself, without outside influence.
2. freedom to live as one chooses, or to act or decide without consulting another or others.
3. the determining by the people of the form their government shall have, without reference to the wishes of any other nation, esp. by people of a territory or former colony.
[1670-80; 1915-20 for def. 3]

* * *

Process by which a group of people, usually possessing a degree of political consciousness, form their own state and government.

The idea evolved as a byproduct of nationalism. According to the UN charter, a people has the right to form itself into a state or to otherwise determine the form of its association with another state, and every state has the right to choose its own political, economic, social, and cultural systems. Moreover, the administering authorities of dependent territories are enjoined to ensure political advancement and the development of self-government in those territories.

* * *

      the process by which a group of people, usually possessing a certain degree of national consciousness, form their own state and choose their own government. As a political principle, the idea of self-determination evolved at first as a by-product of the doctrine of nationalism, to which early expression was given by the French and American revolutions. In World War I the Allies accepted self-determination as a peace aim. In his Fourteen Points—the essential terms for peace—U.S. president Woodrow Wilson listed self-determination as an important objective for the postwar world; the result was the fragmentation of the old Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires and Russia's former Baltic territories into a number of new states.

      After World War II, promotion of self-determination among subject peoples became one of the chief goals of the United Nations. The UN's predecessor, the League of Nations, had also recognized the principle; but it was in the UN that the idea received its clearest statement and affirmation.

      The UN Charter clarifies two meanings of the term self-determination. First, a state is said to have the right of self-determination in the sense of having the right to choose freely its political, economic, social, and cultural systems. Second, the right to self-determination is defined as the right of a people to constitute itself in a state or otherwise freely determine the form of its association with an existing state. Both meanings have their basis in the charter (Article 1, paragraph 2; and Article 55, paragraph 1). With respect to dependent territories, the charter asserts that administering authorities should undertake to ensure political advancement and the development of self-government (Article 73, paragraphs a and b; and Article 76, paragraph b).

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • self-determination — 1683, determination of mind, from SELF (Cf. self) + DETERMINATION (Cf. determination). Political sense is attested from 1911, popularized by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson (1856 1924) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Self-determination — Self de*ter mi*na tion, n. Determination by one s self; or, determination of one s acts or states without the necessitating force of motives; applied to the voluntary or activity. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • self-determination — index discretion (power of choice), freedom, home rule, liberty, suffrage Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • self-determination — [self′di tʉr΄mə nā′shən] n. 1. the act or power of making up one s own mind about what to think or do, without outside influence or compulsion 2. the right of a people to decide upon its own political status or form of government, without outside …   English World dictionary

  • self-determination — ► NOUN 1) the process by which a country determines its own statehood and forms its own allegiances and government. 2) the process by which a person controls their own life …   English terms dictionary

  • Self-determination — This article is about self determination in international law. For other uses, see Self determination (disambiguation). Self determination is the principle in international law that nations have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and… …   Wikipedia

  • self-determination — n. 1) to give, grant self determination 2) to achieve, realize self determination * * * [ˌselfdɪtɜːmɪ neɪʃ(ə)n] grant self determination realize self determination to achieve to give …   Combinatory dictionary

  • self-determination — N UNCOUNT Self determination is the right of a country to be independent, instead of being controlled by a foreign country, and to choose its own form of government. Syn: independence …   English dictionary

  • self-determination — apsisprendimas statusas T sritis Kūno kultūra ir sportas apibrėžtis Veiklos tikslo pasirinkimas; savo pozicijos probleminėse situacijose sąmoningas išsiaiškinimas ir pasirinkimas. atitikmenys: angl. decision; self determination vok.… …   Sporto terminų žodynas

  • self-determination — self′ determina′tion n. 1) freedom to live as one chooses, or to act or decide without consulting others 2) gov freedom of a people to determine the way in which they shall be governed and whether or not they shall be self governed • Etymology:… …   From formal English to slang


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.