Discussion 6: Political Science

Discussion 6: Political Science

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1. Who has the right to self-determination and how is it manifested?

In the broad sense, self-determination could be defined as the process by which an individual controls their own life. However, within the context of statehood, citizenship, and nationality there are much more nuanced topics to take into consideration. The State usually decides who has the right to self-determination and usually this decision has a lot to do with what nation a State represents. For instance, mass transfers or genocides of certain ethnicities by the State are examples of certain instances when a State decided that certain groups of people did not have a right to self-determination. Examples of these instances include the Yugoslavian mass transfer of citizens, and the Nazi Germany genocide of the Jews. The reverse of this situation can also be true. For example, an ethnicity of people trapped in a State that they believe does not have their best interest in mind has the right to self-determination and might try to secede to create their own state.

2. Does the right to self-determination include the right to secession and independent statehood?

Political scientists have argued that the right to self-determination does include secession and independent statehood, because excluding certain groups from having this natural right guaranteed by the state is unfair when every individual supposedly has a right to self-determination. I personally agree that it would be unfair of the state to extend a right to self-determination to all of its citizens,
and then as soon as a certain group of citizens is marginalized take away that right to have power over their own lives.

3. Describe the type of nationalism presented in the film. How is it different from other forms of nationalism( Movie Ghandi)?

I find these questions difficult to answer after not seeing the movie. However, from what I know about Ghandi and his fight against the British imperialists, I would say that Gandhi’s nationalism is different because he unified many different nations together under the umbrella of “India” as a whole. India has 52 national languages, and many different ethnic groups, as well as what could be considered nationalities that are different from one another. Many of these different groups were Unified by Ghandi to fight the colonists.

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