Secessionism and the European Union

Secessionism and the European Union : The Future of Flanders, Scotland, and Catalonia

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Secessionist (also called, nationalist, or pro-independence) political parties exist in many countries in the developed world; they raise-and then spend-a lot of money, win votes in elections, and their elected officials serve in seats in local, regional, and national parliaments. Yet, despite all of this effort, there has not been a successful case of secession since 1921 when the Irish Free State effectively seceded from the United Kingdom (UK). Perhaps the biggest issue is that these secessionist political parties have rarely been popular enough to form a government even amongst their core ethnic group. This is further compounded by the fact that secessionist parties have historically been unable to win support from immigrants or people outside their core ethnic and/or linguistic group. Given this context, four central questions are posed in this study including: whether-and also why-any of the secessionist parties have transitioned from ethnic-based to civic-based policy platforms? Why have these secessionist parties not yet achieved independence?
And, what role does the European Union (EU) play in facilitating or deterring secession in independence-seeking regions within member states? This study examines three different cases-Flanders in Belgium, Scotland in the UK, and Catalonia in Spain-to investigate how secessionist political parties are approaching the issue of independence. All of the cases are different with respect to history, governmental structure, and economic situation. Yet all of the cases are similar in some ways-they are close to the same size (in terms of population), operate within mature democratic political systems, have distinct secessionist political parties, and all reside within member states of the EU. Categorically, in all cases, there are also shared influences of the ability of the region to secede: institutions, interests, and ideas.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 226 pages
  • 160 x 237 x 21mm | 454g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 23 Tables, unspecified
  • 0739190849
  • 9780739190845

Review quote

Secessionism and the European Union is a significant contribution to the literature on the evolving agendas of sub-state European parties, particularly those that have come to adopt the objective of independence... The book is highly accessible, divided as it is into many short sections. European Political Science The old countries of Europe, once thought to be settled, are in danger of breaking apart-a development which would completely scramble the geopolitical calculus of this region and of the world. Dr. Glen Duerr does a masterful job in explaining the roots and reasons behind three of the most successful secessionist movements: Scotland, Flanders and Catalonia. In clear, accessible language, Duerr looks at the changing nature of national identities in these regions as they steer a transition from a narrowly based ethnic nationalism to a more inclusive civic nationalism. We have long needed a book like this. It will be invaluable for anybody interested in nationalism, international relations, and European studies. -- David Kaplan, Kent State University In this timely book, Glen Duerr provides a thoughtful discussion of a crucial actor in the contemporary politics of secessionism in Western Europe: the secessionist party. Informed by several interviews with party representatives and officials, Duerr's study is an important contribution to the literature on nationalism. -- Andre Lecours, University of Ottawa
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About Glenn M. E. Duerr

Glen M.E. Duerr is assistant professor of international studies at Cedarville University.
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Table of contents

Chapter One Major Secessionist Movements in Europe
Chapter Two Methodology
Chapter Three Vlaams Belang in Flanders
Chapter FourNieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie in Flanders
Chapter Five Scottish National Party in Scotland
Chapter Six Convergencia I Unio in Catalonia
Chapter Seven Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya in Catalonia
Chapter Eight European Union
Chapter Nine Conclusions and Why Flanders, Scotland, and Catalonia are not Independent
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