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About Separatism and Globalization: New post on Global Matters

Crimea, Catalonia, South Sudan: Why nation-building in a time of Globalization?

News from Apr 01, 2014

This week on “Global Matters. Bits and thoughts on World Politics”, our experts discuss the puzzle underneath the surface of the recent events around Crimea. How can we explain the trend towards independence, separatism and attempts at nation-building when states are generally underperforming under the tsunami of capital flows, migration, and rapidly moving content?

“This is not necessarily a contradiction”, Caroline King argues. She believes that economic and cultural autonomy are no longer dependent on the protection of the state – as long as a framework for peace and stability are ensured.

Andrey Makarychev, on the other hand, points out that in most cases, separatists do not necessarily aim at independence. It´s a “heavy burden they simply can’t afford, especially in case of international isolation or sanctions”, the Professor of Government and Politics at the University of Tartu, argues. Whereas Catalonia and Scotland, should they separate from Spain and the UK, would most likely find themselves embraced by the EU, other separatist regions are heavily tied to another nation-state. Makarychev mentions several cases, among them Nagorno-Karabakh that can maintain its status-quo only because of militarily support from Armenia who, in its turn, is Russia’s client state. And “Northern Cyprus can survive only due to massive Turkish economic and security assistance.”

Read what our other experts say and join the discussion here.

Photo: Paco Rivière/Flickr/Creative Commons


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