Regionalism and secession
Leavitt, Joseph F.
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Catalonia and Bavaria today cling tightly to their linguistic distinctiveness, their cultural traditions, their culinary specialties, and their political particularity. Even after the passage of some centuries, these regions have not yet amalgamated into the nation states that contain them. And yet, Bavaria’s stubborn regionalism does not translate into any real longings for secession, whereas many Catalonians struggle actively and adamantly for autonomy. Why are there strong independence movements in Spain, but not in Germany? How have state formation and the relationship between the center and the region affected independence movements? This thesis provides a historical analysis of Bavarian and Catalan regionalism and argues that autonomy mitigates secession if the predominant state has accommodated sub-state regionalism. This thesis explains that the EU can either strengthen or weaken regional governments, depending upon the nature of the relationship between the regional governments and their associated national government. This thesis argues that the security of both a newly independent state and its parent government is worse off in the short term; the severity of the security situation depends on the nature of the divorce.
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