Constitutional rules and competitive politics : their effects on secessionism
Albert Breton and Pierre Salmon argue that the effects of constitutional rules depend on the nature of political competition and on some meta-rules that contain procedures regulating the application and the modification of constitutional rules. They outline two models of competition - electoral competition and compound government competition - and describe the nature of the transactions between the parties involved in the two corresponding settings. In both, the transactions are over constitutional rules and ordinary goods and services, all of which are arguments in the utility functions of citizens. To make the discussion more concrete, the paper focuses on the demand for political autonomy, a variable which, at the limit, becomes a demand for secession and independence. This allows the specification of some meta-rules applicable to secessionism. In this particular context, it appears that relatively small differences in the content of the meta-rules lead to large differences in equilibrium outcomes.
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