Research and Policy Development

Our current projects support lawyers, experts and academics to consider the conflict between territorial integrity and self-determination. The clash between the fundamentals of the concepts has prevented the advancement of a peaceful process. Consequently, the concept of self-determination is vital to European and international peace and security.  We aim to craft guidelines on the negotiation process of self-determination claims, with emphasis on particular aspects including:

• Identifying techniques to maintain the engagement of parties in prolonged negotiations.

• Engaging governments with self-determination movements through third parties.

• Cataloguing the stages and intensity of self-determination claims.

• Ensuring the inclusion of all segments of society.

• Encouraging information-sharing and joint analysis between groups offering mediation support and services.

ICO also supports researchers in their early career phase with its Fellowship Programme where researchers explore topics around right to self-determination.Our fellows are especially encouraged to take the initiative to produce a handbook outlining best practices from past peace negotiations involving self-determination claims. Focus in particular on issues recurring in different situations, such as: division of governance competencies, fiscal organisation, rights of minorities and cross-border integration. This would assist mediators, officials from international organisations, State officials and even self-determination movements. The research consists of in depth analysis of self-determination issues in different continents, highlighting performance in terms of international human rights frameworks and its implementation at local level. The fellowship holders produce reports and other documents that are carefully researched, compellingly written, aimed at achieving specific impact, and delivered on schedule.