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A broad overview of modern secessionist movements

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Secessionism?An Overview.
  3. Successful Succession.
  4. The Case of Quebec.
  5. The Case of Sri Lanka.
  6. Understanding the Outcomes.
  7. Synthesis of the Data.
  8. Conclusion.

Secessionism is a process that has been part of international discourse since the development of government. Regardless of the success or equity created under a particular rule, various groups have sought separation from the state in an effort to create more autonomy and achieve a higher level of independence. While some secessionist movements have taken place without any real conflict or controversy, scholars report that, ?Self-determination movements are the most frequent source of violent conflict in the international system today? (Walter, 313). As such, it is not surprising to find that the scholarship on secessionism and secessionist movements has increased dramatically in recent years. As secessionism serves to threaten global peace and America's asserted hegemonic power, interest in secessionist movements has become a more pressing issue for international discourse.Given the importance of secessionism to the overall stability of the international community, there is a clear impetus to understand this process and its overall impact on the development of the international community. Using this as a basis for research, this investigation considers a broad overview of modern secessionist movements.

[...] Seeking to answer this question, researchers have turned to the issue of democracy as a mitigating factor in the development of peaceful versus violent secessionist movements. In particular, scholars report that the Tamil are a totalitarian organization that will not work in a democratic and peaceful manner to achieve the separatist state that they desire: They [the Tamil] would have to quit their 'controlled areas' and guarantee a vote under tranquil circumstances. The LTTE is a totalitarian organization and it would be foolish to imagine the Tigers laying down their guns and participating in a democratic exercise of this nature exposing themselves to competition from other rival Tamil groups that are bound to assert themselves freed of constraint in a democratic environment (217). [...]


[...] Other efforts to explicate the development of secessionist movements include a critical review of regional political institutions in developing countries. Specifically, Saideman makes the argument that separatist conflicts continue to remain a pervasive challenge to world order because these conflicts are not easily resolved by political entities (Saideman, 722). According to this author, secessionist movements that develop in one nation are not addressed by either neighboring governments or the international community. Neighboring states fail to engage in separatist conflict because they believe that by committing resources to a separatist conflict, they will prompt separatist conflict in their home state (722). [...]


[...] With the realization that globalization is having such a pervasive impact on the development of secessionist movements, one cannot help but wonder how the international community can stand by and continue to prevent self- determination in some cases while allowing it in others. If framed in the right context, one could make the argument that the Tamil Tigers are reacting to the pressure of globalization and seeking an independent state that will allow them to build a sustainable future for those of the Tamil descent. [...]

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