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Between the Sword and the Wall: Spain's Limited Options for Catalan Secessionism


  • Griffiths, Ryan D.
  • Guillén, Pablo
  • Martinez i Coma, Ferran


We propose a game theoretical model to assess the capacity of Catalonia to become a recognized, independent country with at least a de facto European Union (EU) membership. Support for Catalan independence is increasing for reasons pertaining to identity and economics. Spain can avoid a vote for independence by effectively 'buying-out' a proportion of the Catalan electorate with a funding agreement favorable to Catalonia. If, given the current economic circumstances, the buying-out strategy is too expensive, a proindependence vote is likely to pass. Our model predicts an agreement in which Spain and the European Union accommodate Catalan independence in exchange for Catalonia taking a share of the Spanish debt. If Spain and the EU do not accommodate, Spain becomes insolvent, which in turn destabilizes the EU. The current economic woes of Spain and the EU both contribute to the desire for Catalan independence and make it possibl e.

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  • Griffiths, Ryan D. & Guillén, Pablo & Martinez i Coma, Ferran, 2013. "Between the Sword and the Wall: Spain's Limited Options for Catalan Secessionism," Working Papers 2013-17, University of Sydney, School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:syd:wpaper:2123/9383

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    1. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416-416.
    2. Coggins, Bridget, 2011. "Friends in High Places: International Politics and the Emergence of States from Secessionism," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(03), pages 433-467, July.
    3. Finnemore, Martha & Sikkink, Kathryn, 1998. "International Norm Dynamics and Political Change," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(04), pages 887-917, September.
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