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You Can Go Your Own Way: Explaining Partisan Support for Independence

Tim Willems

No 717, Economics Series Working Papers from University of Oxford, Department of Economics

Abstract: This paper analyzes secessions through the lens of representative democratic institutions and considers the incentives of partisan political parties to support independence movements. It points out that, if anything, separatists should expect to receive support from exactly the "unlike-minded" political party - the reason being that this party might see a break-up as an opportunity to reshape the electorate towards its own preferences. By doing so, a party could increase its future probability of being elected, while it is also able to shift the entire political spectrum towards its own partisan ideal. The model is able to explain much of what is currently going on in the debate on Scottish independence, while it can also be applied to issues of political integration (the European Union) and territorial conflicts (think of Ukraine and Russia in relation to Crimea, as well as the situation in Israel).

Keywords: Nations; Secession; Territorial conflict; Probabilistic voting (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 H77 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014-08-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-cis and nep-pol
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed

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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:oxf:wpaper:717

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