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How to assist separatists in breaking up a country... or, rather, not: The role of decentralization and development assistance

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  • Ehrke, Jürgen

Abstract

The international community is usually set against secessionist movements that threaten to break up existing states. At the same time, many fragmented countries receive development aid, which influences the political process there. The model presented here seeks to answer two questions: “Is decentralization a suitable tool to appease separatist movements and prevent a secession?”, and “Can development policies can be designed in a way that they don’t unwillingly trigger secession as a side effect?”. Using a framework frequently applied in the literature on secession, it turns out (a) that under certain conditions a secession threat can be used by a minority region to gain a higher level of decentralization than the larger part of the country would prefer, and (b) that a secession threat might undermine aid policies that focus directly on poverty reduction or on the improvement of governance, especially where they are not accompanied by (additional) decentralization. – It can be shown that the results are robust to a relaxation of initial simplifications.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 44045.

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Date of creation: 30 Nov 2012
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:44045

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Keywords: secession; separatism; development aid; decentralization;

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  1. Klaus Desmet & Michel Breton & Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín & Shlomo Weber, 2011. "The stability and breakup of nations: a quantitative analysis," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 183-213, September.
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  7. Raghuram G. Rajan & Arvind Subramanian, 2005. "Aid and Growth: What Does the Cross-Country Evidence Really Show?," NBER Working Papers 11513, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  9. Tsuneyoshi, Takao & Hashimoto, Akihiro & Haneda, Shoko, 2012. "Quantitative evaluation of nation stability," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 132-154.
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  12. Hristos Doucouliagos & Martin Paldam, 2009. "The Aid Effectiveness Literature: The Sad Results Of 40 Years Of Research," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(3), pages 433-461, 07.
  13. Michel Le Breton & Shlomo Weber, 2003. "The Art of Making Everybody Happy: How to Prevent a Secession," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 50(3), pages 4.
  14. Klaas Staal, 2010. "Incentives for separation and incentives for public good provision," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 145(3), pages 531-546, December.
  15. repec:sen:rebelj:v:liv:y:2009:i:1:p:4-22 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Hans-Georg Petersen, 2008. "Integration, decentralization, taxation, and revenue sharing : good governance, sustainable fiscal policy and poverty reduction as peace-keeping strategies," Finanzwissenschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 57, Universität Potsdam, Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät.
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