2014 will be a decisive year for separatist movements in Europe. A referendum about the independence of Scotland is scheduled for September. Catalonia’s government intends the same for November, but has to face strong opposition from Madrid. Belgian federal elections will be held in May giving Flemish separatist sentiments opportunity to express themselves and therefore making a repeated political crisis possible.
The blog series ‘Separatism in Europe’ will feature four posts analysing various ideational, political and economical aspects of separatist movement in Europe.
Today the second instalment, which looks at possible scenarios for referenda . The first post of the series is available here.
De Visscher and Laborderie, Politique étrangère 2013/14, examine different scenarios after the Belgian federal election in May. The authors predict a maintenance of the federal state and a slight and pragmatic transfer of competences to the regions based on the principle of subsidiarity.
The International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society 2013 features two articles exploring the subject of referendums as a mean to self-determination of national minorities. Montserrat Guibernau focuses on the case study of Catalonia and Elisenda Casanas Adam explores the Scottish example.
Keith Dixon, Politique étrangère 2013/14, undertakes an analysis of possible outcomes of the Scottish referendum, arguing that even in case of a ‘no’ vote, the push for a transfer of competences to Scotland wouldn’t stop.
Finally Matt Qvortrup, Political Insight 2013, presents a historical study examining all ethno-national referenda since the French Revolution, and sheds some light onto underlying motivations as well as consequences.
The next instalment of the series will look at the issue of EU membership after secession.