Self-Determination as an Expression of Collective Human Dignity: The Case of Catalonia  

by Antoni Abat i Ninet

This paper has two distinct sections; the first one is devoted to an epistemological reconceptualization of the principle of self-determination. This principle needs to be updated to take account of the realities of the Twenty-First Century (globalization, new political structures, IT era, post-modern concept of sovereignty) and linked to the principle of Human Dignity as a collective right. The starting point is focused on the relationship between democracy and self-determination. The analysis takes both a theoretical and empirical approach to encompass a comprehensive democratic theory of self-determination. The main idea is to demonstrate in detail the link between constitutional democracies and self-determination. The second section of this paper is devoted to the individual and collective rights debate, paying special attention to the conceptualization, meanings and understanding of the fundamental principle of human dignity. This second section presents arguments to provide a justification for the transplantation of rights from the realm of the individual to that of the group. The anthropocentric conception of the theory of rights is reviewed in order to extend some of its theoretical foundations to groups, collectives and peoples. The conclusion of this paper considers whether the Spanish violent, disproportionate and repressive reaction to the peaceful and democratic Catalan process to independence legitimises the exercise of self-determination as a remedy.

DOI 10.23815/2421-2156.ITALJ           ISSN 2421-2156

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