Published in the Global Societies Journal
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While the European Enlightenment is credited as the dawn of a modern era, marked by a belief in the rule of law to deliver security and prosperity to all people, the geopolitical reality of world order has not delivered on this promise. The case of Western Sahara, a UN declared non-self-governing territory, demonstrates the negative implications for human rights where fissures occur between what Charles Taylor deemed the modern social imaginary and this global political reality. This paper explores the history of the Western Sahara conflict with respect to the UN framework of international law regarding self-determination. It concludes by offering suggestions for moving past a mere acceptance of the feasible, looking towards the ideal.