Friday, February 15, 2008

Independent Kosovo? Why not Vermont?

Its a light-hearted look at what Kosovo's independence could mean elsewhere, but it does raise some good points.

Independence movements abound, some fairly silly like those advocating for the "Second Vermont Republic" (Vermont was very briefly an independent country before joining the United States), to the deadly serious, like the separatists trying to wrest the region of Kashmir from India and Pakistan.

Marc Plattner, co-editor of the Washington-based Journal of Democracy, which analyzes movements worldwide, raises a fundamental question - who decides what is a country? "You can let the people decide," he says, "but first you have to decide: Who are the people? This is the great hole in democratic theory. There isn't a sound theoretical or moral answer."
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