A Theory of Secession

The Case for Political Self-Determination

A Theory of Secession

Offering an unapologetic defense of the right to secede, Christopher Heath Wellman argues that any group has a moral right to secede as long as its political divorce will leave it and the remainder state in a position to perform the requisite political functions. He explains that there is nothing contradictory about valuing legitimate states, while permitting their division. Thus, if one values self-determination, then one has good reason to conclude that people have a right to determine their political boundaries.


Christopher Heath Wellman's new book defends a controversial thesis in a novel way. He defends secession and does so in a bold manner that will set his book apart from other such defenses. - Christopher W. Morris, University of Maryland, College Park