Emory International Law Review


Jared Skinner


Nestled in the corner of Spain is the birthplace of a people and a political conflict as old as the history of the peninsula itself. Catalonia, long a bastion for independence movements around the world, is caught at the center of tensions between traditional regionalism and political centrality in Spain. As internal unrest continues to intensify, miring discussion and dialogue, the crisis creeps closer to a point of drastic political uncertainty. Exhausted with the enduring lethargy of domestic and European legal fora, the Catalans have often thought of turning to international law for a solution. This Comment draws upon decades of scholarship in the realm of self-determination to argue for a critical re-analysis of these now-dated concepts. Formulated in response to a post-colonial era, the mechanism of self-determination fails to ascertain and address the challenges faced by modern ethnopolitical minorities. A reassessment of the norms of self-determination could provide novel and politically stabilizing options for stateless groups in Europe and other parts of the world.