Secessionist Movements: To Secede or Not to Secede
Doren, Emily E
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Secessionist movements have more than doubled in the last century, and yet very few movements actually succeed in gaining independence. This research study has examined four different cases of secessionist movements in order to identify key factors that make a secessionist movement more likely to succeed at gaining independence. The first two cases are the successful secession of Bangladesh and South Sudan, and the last two cases are the unsuccessful attempts at secession by the Quebecois in Quebec, Canada and the Kurds in the Middle East territories of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. The data shows that there are four main criteria that make a secessionist movement more likely to achieve independence: the movement must have endured major injustices by the parent state; it must have majority support in the territory that wishes to secede; the parent state must be weakened; and finally, it must have external support from the international community and neighboring countries. Most secessionist movements that have achieved independence have done so after violent conflict and wars. Despite this fact, nationalist groups have not been deterred in their demands for independence. Therefore, understanding secessionist movements and what it will take for them to achieve independence is an important topic for global security and how the international community can try to maintain peace and security.