Pro-Democratic Regime Change and the Right to Political Self- Determination


A Case Study of Iraq
S.F. van den Driest
Pages: 125 pages
Shipping Weight: 300 gram
Published: 12-2009
Publisher: WLP
Language: US
ISBN (softcover) : 9789058504210

Product Description

A fundamental but underexposed tension exists between the right to political self-determination on the one hand, and the new manifestations of the phenomenon of pro-democratic regime change on the other. The latter refers to the increased preparedness of States to interfere in the internal affairs of other States for the purpose of removing authoritarian regimes and installing new regimes. Today, the imposition of a democratic system by other States often serves as a tool to bring about democracy in the State concerned, and, more indirectly, contribute to global peace and international security. The most extreme manifestations in this regard are the cases of Afghanistan (2001) and Iraq (2003), where regime change is used as an instrument in the ‘war on terror’. The right to political self-determination, however, grants peoples the right to freely determine their political status, so their system of government and administration, as well as the substantive nature of that political regime.

This study aims to shed light on these and a number of related questions. In doing so, special attention is paid to the United States-led military intervention in Iraq in 2003 and the subsequent processes for pro-democratic purposes there. The events in Iraq do not only illustrate how pro-democratic regime change is used in our world today, but also serve as a test case for exploring the compatibility of processes of pro-democratic regime change with the right to political self-determination of peoples.

“What struck the jury about the Master`s thesis by Simone van den Driest is the originality and topicality of its subject: the interaction of the right to self-determination with pro-democratic intervention. In order to elaborate these two central concepts, the author delivers a sharp and clear analysis of complex issues such as the right to political self-determination and the importance of democracy. An enormous amount of research material has been incorporated in the thesis, yet Van den Driest presents all of it and her balanced conclusions in an eminently readable way.” From the jury report on the 2008 Master`s Thesis Awards granted by the Faculty of Law of Tilburg University

Simone F. van den Driest is currently working on a doctoral research dealing with the concept of external self-determination. More specifically, her research concerns the issue of secession as a remedial right under international law.

Awarded with the “Tilburg University Faculty of Law Master’s Thesis Award 2008” & “Tilburg University Research Master’s Thesis Award 2008”