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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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Bibliographic Info

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. Vincent Anesi & Philippe De Donder, 2011. "Voting under the Threat of Secession: Accommodation vs. Repression," CESifo Working Paper Series 3458, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Bahl, Roy & Martinez-Vazquez, Jorge, 2006. "Sequencing fiscal decentralization," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3914, The World Bank.
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  7. 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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  13. Haimanko, Ori & Le Breton, Michel & Weber, Shlomo, 2005. "Transfers in a polarized country: bridging the gap between efficiency and stability," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(7), pages 1277-1303, July.
  14. Anesi, Vincent, 2012. "Secessionism and minority protection in an uncertain world," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 53-61.
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