Published online by Cambridge University Press: 23 July 2021
This chapter discusses Western and Third World approaches to internal self-determination. Traditionally, international lawyers argued that it is the West that supports internal self-determination, while the Third World supports external self-determination. This chapter argues that that claim is not valid anymore. There are many similarities in how states and institutions of the West and the Third World appreciate and understand internal self-determination. The chapter develops, however, a Third World critique of internal self-determination that questions the content of the principle as well as the purposes for which internal self-determination is promoted by the West. Concerns arising from this critique apply not only to Third World states but also to small and weak states, both in the West and the Third World generally.