Secession, Democracy & Human Rights

  • Patrick Reimers Instituto Mises de Portugal / Instituto Mises da Alemanha
Keywords: Human Rights, Secession, Democracy, Liberatarianism, Catalonia, Separatism


The United Nations (UN) officially declared "self-determination" as a right of all peoples. Although the United Nations Charter (1945) offers some guidelines for the application of this right, there are major challenges in its implementation in the case of secessionist tendencies. Faced with this situation, the economist Jörg Guido Hülsmann, in his essay Secession and the Production of Defense, discussed not only the argument that pure private production is always superior to public and compulsory schemes, but also the current process of secession which, should always be justified against violent and coercive behavior of governments against (part of) its population. Hülsmann's ideas are presented in the contrast of the latest secessionist movements in Catalonia and Scotland, and in combination with Hayek's concept of "spontaneous order." The separatist movementin Catalonia is also analyzed based on the ideas of political scientist Margaret Moore, who advocates three types of normative theories that can justify the right to secession.


Download data is not yet available.


BAGUS, P. Wir Schaffen das - Allein. Munich: FBV, 2017.

BOYKIN, A. Hayek on Spontaneous Order and Constitutional Design. The Independent Review, v. 15, n. 1, p. 19–34, 2010.

CLARK, DILORENZO, BLOCK: The Secessionist Papers. Abbeville: The Calhoun Review, v. 1, n. 2, 2016.

CORTES GENERALES. The Spanish Constitution. Ratified by Referendum of the Spanish People, 1978. Available at: Acessed in: 1 jul 2016.

CRAMERI, K. Do Catalans have the Right to decide? Secession, Legitimacy and Democracy in Twenty-First Century Europe. Global Discourse: An Interdisciplinary. Journal of Current Affairs and Applied Contemporary Thought, v. 6, n.3, p. 423-439, 2015.

DI LORENZO, T.; BLOCK, W. E. Constitutional Economics and the Calculus of Consent. The Journal of Libertarian Studies, v. 15, n.3, p. 37-56, 2001.

HAYEK, F. A. The Road to Serfdom. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1944.

HAYEK, F. A. Law, Legislation and Liberty. Cornwall: International Ltd, Padstow T.J., 1979.

HAYEK, F. A. The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism. UK: Routledge Press, 1988.

HOPPE, H. H. Fallacies of the Public Goods Theory and the Production of Security. Journal of Libertarian Studies, v. 9, n. 1, p. 27–46, 1989.

HOPPE, H. H. The Economics and Ethics of Private Property. Berlin: Springer, 1993.

HUERTA DE SOTO, J. The Theory of Dynamic Efficiency. Abingdon-on-Thames: Routledge Foundations of the Market Economy, 2008.

HÜLSMANN, J.G. Secession and the Production of Defense. Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. The Myth of National Defense: Essays on the Theory and History of Security Production. Auburn: The Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2003, p. 369-414.

LEVRAT, N.; ANTUNES, S. Catalonia’s Legitimate Right to Decide. Paths to Self-Determination. Geneva: University of Geneva, 2017.

MARTINENKO, A. The Right of Secession as a Human Right. Annual Survey of International & Comparative Law, v. 3, n.1, 1996.

MISES, L. Human Action: A Treatise on Economics. New Haven: University Press, 1949.

MISES, L. Nation, State, and Economy: Contributions to the Politics and History of Our Time. New York: New York University Press, 1983 (1st edition: 1919).

MISES, L. Omnipotent Government. Yale: Yale University Press, 1944.

MOORE, M. The Ethics of Secession and a Normative Theory of Nationalism. Canadian Journal of Law & Jurisprudence, v. 13, p. 225-250, 2000.

ROTHBARD, M. For a New Liberty. New York: Macmillan Publishing, 1973.

ROTHBARD, M. Man, Economy and the State. New York: Van Nostrand, 1962.

SIMMS, B.; GUIBERNAU, M. The Catalan cauldron. 2016. Available at: Accessed: 1 jul 2018.

UNITED NATIONS. Charter of the United Nations, Article 1, Paragraph 2, 1945. Available at: Acessed: 1 jul 2018.

UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY. Resolutions Adopted by the General Assembly at its 25th Session. New York, 1970. Available at: Acessed: 1 jul 2018

How to Cite
Reimers, P. (2019). Secession, Democracy & Human Rights. MISES: Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy, Law and Economics, 7(1).