Self-determination, dissent, and the problem of population transfers

Matthew Lister*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Many of the major self-determination movements of the twentieth century did
not go smoothly, but resulted in forced or semiforced transfers of groups of
people from one country to another. Famous examples include the compulsory
“population exchange” between Greece and Turkey in 1923, the population
transfers that accompanied the independence of India and its split with Pakistan in 1947, and the expulsion of most of the Palestinian population from the
area that became Israel after 1948. Somewhat lesser-known examples include
the expulsion of ethnic Georgians from Abkhazia and (more recently) South
Ossetia, with the help of Russia, and the exchange of populations between
Armenia and Azerbaijan in relation to the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh dispute, as well as the continuing slow-motion transfer of Serbs from Kosovo to Serbia. This last example, in particular, helps highlight the connection, in many historical instances, between population transfers and so-called “ethnic
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Theory of Self-Determination
EditorsFernando R. Tesón
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781316340639
ISBN (Print)9781107119130
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


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