Graduation Year

Fall 2010

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Philosophy and Public Affairs

Reader 1

Paul Hurley


Do the Palestinians deserve a state? To answer this question, one must first provide an account of collective self-determination (CSD) and when a group is entitled to it. This starts with looking at the origins of CSD, both to see if it truly is a right and, if so, what its nature is. I will argue that there is such a thing as a right to CSD, but due to its nature, it is not a universal right of all groups. Whether a group has a right to CSD depends on the conditions in which the group lives, and in this paper, I will tease out what these conditions are. The result of such an analysis will be a set of criteria by which one can judge whether or not a group is entitled to CSD, given the conditions in which the group lives. With this criteria, I will look at the Palestinian case in particular and determine whether or not the Palestinians have a right to CSD. If so, they have a right to an independent state, since any group that exercises true CSD can determine whether or not they choose to live in such a state.