1st Edition

The Political Economy of Independence in Europe

By Hana Lipovská Copyright 2020
    226 Pages 111 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    226 Pages 111 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book examines secessionism, separatism, and calls for independence in the European Union in recent history and within an economic context. It contributes to the deeper understanding of factors influencing the individual decision-making processes around secession, using economic analysis to answer a set of simple questions about who the secessionists are, what they really want, what their incentives are, and why it is easier to declare their secessionist tendencies than to vote for secession.

    This a highly topical theme, given the secessionist referenda in Catalonia, Scotland, Ukraine, Kosovo, and the United Kingdom, and this book offers a unique contribution to the debate. It is based on an exclusive survey carried out among members of the pro-independence parties and movements across 17 European countries and 56 European regions. It uses the instruments of the Political Economy of Conflict to reveal the importance of romantic and economic factors influencing the drive towards secession. Secessions have been regarded as a purely romantic phenomenon that cannot be rationalised, whereas this book connects the sensibility of romantic factors such as language, religion or ethnicity with the sense of economic factors through its rational, economic approach. Furthermore, it applies the standard methodology of microeconomic analysis to discover the impact of individual pro-secessionist factors. An integral part of the text presents a brief historic overview, uncovering the lesser-known path dependency.

    The book will find an audience among researchers, scholars, and students of economics and political science, as well as policy-makers and professionals engaged with a secessionist agenda.

    List of figures

    List of tables

    List of appendices


    List of abbreviations


    1 Secession in political economy of conflict

    1.1 Political economy of conflict

    1.2 Theory of secession

    1.2.1 Secession as a conflict in the political economy

    1.2.2 Secession as a conflict over territory

     1.3 Practice of the secession

    1.3.1 Secessionist waves in Europe

    1.3.2 Secessionist parties and movements

    1.3.3 Secessionist political parties and their attitude towards EU

    1.3.4 Role of leaders

    1.4 The reasons for secession

    1.4.1 Romantic factors

    1.4.2 Economic factors

     1.5 Solutions of secession in the economic theory

    1.5.1 Secession and the property rights

    1.5.2 Fiscal decentralism


    2 Methodology and data

    2.1 Methodology

    2.2 Data

    2.2.1 A survey on autonomist and pro-independence movements

    2.2.2 Survey description

    2.3 Other data sources


    3 Romantic and economic factors: empirical results

    3.1 Description of the respondents

    3.2 Romantic factors 3.2.1 Informal institutions

    3.2.2 Formal institutions

    3.3 Economic factors

    3.3.1 Macroeconomic factors

    3.3.2 Microeconomic factors

    3.4 Cobb-Douglas function


    4 Secessionist profile of Flanders and South Tyrol

    4.1 Flanders

    4.2 South Tyrol






    Hana Lipovská is a lecturer at the Faculty of Economics and Administration, Masaryk University, Czech Republic.