9th Pavia Graduate Conference in Political Philosophy – Abstract/Costelloe

Daniel G. Costelloe

Some Reflections on Collective Rights and Self-Determination

This paper offers a brief analysis of the political principle of self-determination through the interest and will theories of rights. It highlights how will theorists and interest theorists will respectively focus on different normative aspects of a people qua potential holder of the right to self-determination: the former will investigate the democratic legitimacy of the collectivity’s government, the latter the ties or bonds that constitute the collectivity as a people. The paper concludes that the interest theory more accurately reflects notions associated with self-determination, and highlights that the term ‘self-determination’ can refer to various political values.