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Secessionism and Minority Protection in an Uncertain World

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  • Vincent Anesi

    (University of Nottingham)

Abstract

With the changing economic circumstances confronting their countries, regionally concentrated minorities have been facing a strategic problem, important aspects of which can be stylized as a situation in which a minority leader is uncertain about the costs of secession for her community. This paper shows that this uncertainty is a central cause of secession, using a model which incorporates both policies to appease secessionist aspirations and informational asymmetries. In a situation of asymmetric information, in which the policy-maker is better informed about the consequences of separation than the minority leader, signaling incentives make secession the unique equilibrium outcome, whether mutually advantageous compromises exist or not. We also show that the ruling majority may seek to maintain political unity by pre-committing to minority protection rules which prevent bluffing by the informed policy-maker. Additionally, the model generates comparative statics results on the question of which states are most likely to adopt constitutional rules protecting the minorities living within their borders.

Suggested Citation

  • Vincent Anesi, 2010. "Secessionism and Minority Protection in an Uncertain World," Discussion Papers 2010-15, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  • Handle: RePEc:not:notcdx:2010-15
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    Cited by:

    1. Martijn Huysmans & Christophe Crombez, 2020. "Making exit costly but efficient: the political economy of exit clauses and secession," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 89-110, March.
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    3. Enriqueta Aragonès & Clara Ponsatí, 2021. "The stability of multi-level governments," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 33(1), pages 140-166, January.
    4. Ehrke, Jürgen, 2012. "How to assist separatists in breaking up a country... or, rather, not: The role of decentralization and development assistance," MPRA Paper 44045, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Rhea Molato, 2015. "Public Debt and the Threat of Secession," Working Papers tax-mpg-rps-2015-04, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Constitutional commitment; secession; signaling; regional redistribution;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

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