How can we understand the strategic interaction between secessionist movements and sovereign
states? A casual review of the many secessionist struggles around the world, both violent and
peaceful, shows a variety of types.
Some, like Catalonia, are pursuing their ends using combinations of electoral capture and civil demonstrations, just as the Spanish government is working to delegitimize these efforts and defeat them in the polls. Regions like Nagorno Karabakh (Artsakh) lack the same institutional connectivity with the larger state of Azerbaijan and are relegated to a de facto (but unrecognized) status where defense, deterrence, and diplomacy are critical. For its part, Azerbaijan invokes its territorial integrity and attempts to deny all forms of recognition to the breakaway region. Other regions from West Papua to Tibet are faced with the hard choice between civil resistance and the use of violence, and their states are keen to suppress their efforts and hide them from the world. What features are common across all of these examples, and how do they differ?
This volume synthesizes a number of theories and theoretical approaches that purport to explain the
strategies of secession and counter-secession. This is an important topic. Apart from the many legal
and cartographical issues that attend secessionist activity, the potential for conflict is a very real
concern. Estimates put the share of civil wars driven by secessionism at about 50%,1 and according
to Barbara Walter secessionism is the chief source of violence in the world today.2 Secessionism is
destabilizing because, at the least, it presents a direct challenge to existing political systems. Yet
surprisingly, the strategic interaction between states and secessionists is an area in which we have
List of tables and figures / Preface and acknowledgments / 1. Introduction, Ryan D. Griffiths and Diego Muro / Part I: Theoretical and Conceptual Perspectives of the Strategic Playing Field / 2. In Search of International Recognition: Declarations of Independence and Unilateral Secession, Aleksandar Pavkovic / 3. Do Parent State Strategies Matter in Resolving Secessionist Conflicts with De Facto States?, Eiki Berg and Scott Pegg / 4. State Strategies Against Secessionists, Ahsan Butt / 5. Anti-Secession Constitutionalism, Rivka Weill / 6. The False Hope of Remedial Secession: Theory, Law, and Reality, Argyro Kartsonaki / 7. Playing Field Sets on Fire: Do Democratic Institutions Dilute Violence in Strategies of Secessionist Movements?, Faruk Aksoy and Melike Ayse Kocacik Senol / Part II: Empirical Case Studies of Secession and Counter-Secession Strategies / 8. The European Union in the Narratives of Secessionist Parties: a Comparison Between N-VA, SNP and ERC, Bart Maddens, Gertjan Muyters, Wouter Wolfs, and Steven Van Hecke / 9. Education as a Strategy of Secession: the Case of Northern Cyprus, Adrian Florea / 10. Viability as a strategy of secession: enshrining de facto statehood in Abkhazia and Somaliland, Giulia Prelz Oltramonti / 11. The Two Québec Independence Referendums: Political Strategies and International Relations, André Lecours / 12. Inadvertent Counter-secessionists: The Private Sector and the Politics of Independence Referenda in Post-industrial Democracies, Karlo Basta / 13. Shifting Patterns of Tactics and Strategies: Bargaining Over Self-Determination in Indonesia, Livia Rohrbach / 14. Conclusion, Ryan D. Griffiths and Diego Muro / Bibliography / Index
Ryan Griffiths is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University.
Diego Muro is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of St Andrews.
From Scotland to South Sudan, movements are aspiring to independence – and governments are trying to stop them. This collection of essays edited by Ryan D. Griffiths and Diego Muro breaks new ground by considering both sides of the argument. Combining, law, international relations and comparative political science, the book is a most valuable primer for anyone interested in the struggle to create new states - and in the politics of maintaining territorial unity.
The often intense diplomatic battles between states and secessionist territories over independence and recognition is of increasing interest to academics and policy makers alike. This impressive and wide-ranging volume showcases some of the latest thinking on the subject from leading names in the field as well as up and coming scholars.