A state should be seen as a magnet which holds together the different gegraphical components of a country. When a separatist movement succeeds it is most often because the attraction capacity of the central state has been weakened. This can happen for various short-term or long-term reasons.

In the short-term group the most common causes are an insurrection, a revolution or the occupation of the capital by a foreign army.

Among the long-term reasons one can mention chronic political instability or a reduction in the tax resources of the central government.
One obvious illustration was given by the case of China in the hundred years from 1850 to 1950.
A more recent illustration is provided by the countries which compose the European Union. The process of devolving some of their decision powers to the European institutions (e.g. European Commission, European Court of Justice) or to international organizations (e.g. NATO or the World Trade Organization) has reduced their attraction power. Moreover, as the Union is itself a weak organization (for instance because some decisions can only be taken unanimously as in Poland in the 18th century before the country was divided between Austria, Prussia and Russia) the whole construction is fairly shaky and likely to crumble at the first serious shock.

In the following publications the question of separatism is not considered from the perspective of the central government but is viewwed through the characteristics of the regional components.

We propose three items: one book and two articles.

  • Separatism and disintegration? (378 p.)

  • Spatial and historical determinants of separatism and integration. 1. Qualitative analysis (28 p.)

  • Spatial and historical determinants of separatism and integration. 2. Quantitative analysis (26 p.)