Peoples’ Right to Self-Determination: The Domestication of an Illusion
Das Selbstbestimmungsrecht der Völker: Die Domestizierung einer Illusion

das selbstbestimmungsrecht der voelker die domestizierung einer illusion joerg fisch
C.H.Beck
August 2010 / 320pp
Non-Fiction

This book is outside of the five year window for guaranteed assistance with English language translation. We suggest approaching the relevant funding body for an informal conversation on the possibility of support. Please refer to to our recommendations page for books that can be funded.

review

The notion that a people might be responsible for its own selfdetermination has its roots in colonialism. Jörg Fisch illustrates this in his study of colonial history from the eighteenth century to the present day. Self-determination was first realized – and simultaneously restricted – in the Americas. It served as an anti-colonial weapon there, but after successfully breaking free of the ruling colonial powers, the new leaders imposed a ban on secession. The United States of America asserted and, to some extent, defined this as the norm, and the secession ban was enforced in the American Civil War. After the Second World War, self-determination became the weapon of the colonised throughout the world, but it also transpired that if nation-building was successfully accomplished then self-determination was considered obsolete. Self-determination is an agitator, concludes Fisch. It must constantly be tamed because its objective is freedom without domination. This lofty goal was not honoured anywhere, but it did function as a programme for action. And therein lies its historical significance.

press quotes

‘A magnificent book, linking theory and history.’– Die Zeit

‘A seminal, wonderfully composed book.’
– Der Tagesspiegel

about the author

Jörg Fisch is professor of General Modern History at the University of Zurich. His research focuses on the history of international law and international relations.

rights information

Application for assistance with translation costs – 
Geisteswissenschaften International

Translation rights available from:
Verlag C.H.Beck
Literatur – Sachbuch – Wissenschaft
Wilhelmstraße 9
80801 München
Tel. +49 89 38189-228
Contact: Susanne Simor
Email: susanne.simor@beck.de  
www.chbeck.de 

Verlag C.H.Beck is one of Germany’s best known publishing houses. It deals with both books and magazines, employs a staff of over 400 and has approximately 6,000 titles in print. It has a strong base in academic and specialised works on history, ethnology, philology, literary theory, religion and philosophy, politics, art and law. Its fiction list has grown steadily and is respected for the importance its editors place on the literary and artistic merits of its titles.

translation assistance

This book is outside of the five year window for guaranteed assistance with English language translation. We suggest approaching the relevant funding body for an informal conversation on the possibility of support. Please refer to to our recommendations page for books that can be funded.

share this recommendation

Share this on twitter, facebook or via mail.

All recommendations from Spring 2012