The Quest for Self-Determination

By Dov Ronen | Go to book overview

6
A GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTURE

In the preface I wrote that this study was undertaken in order to find a lever in the social sciences. The concept of the quest for self-determination is proposed as such a lever. Defined as the aspiration of human beings to control their own lives, the notion of self-determination may help us to understand some aspects of the past, the present, and the future. In the distant past, human beings were not engaged in a quest for self-determination; in their objective poverty, ignorance, and submission to one or to a few, they thought they had it. In the present, more and more human beings are pursuing self-determination; we live now in the age of self- determination, where more and more human beings are getting the message that they are human beings just like others, and are finding even the modern (nation-)state itself an obstacle to the realization of their aspirations. The future, I think, holds a continued quest for self-determination, a continued search for new frameworks. They may not be better than those we now have, but these frameworks will be deemed better for a while. And so it might go, ad infinitum.

Is not there a framework or frameworks that can provide self- determination? Perhaps not, but using the lever of self-determina-

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The Quest for Self-Determination
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • 1 - Self-Determination: An Overview 1
  • 2 - The Five Manifestations 24
  • 3 - Back to Basics 53
  • 4 - Four Examples: The Scots, Biafra, the Palestinians, and South Africa 71
  • 5 - Implications for the Modern State and the 5 International System 99
  • 6 - A Glimpse into the Future 117
  • Notes 121
  • Selected Bibliography 135
  • Index 139
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