You Can Go Your Own Way: Explaining Partisan Support for Independence

Tim Willems
2014 Social Science Research Network  
This paper analyzes secessions through the lens of representative democratic institutions and considers the incentives of partisan political parties to support independence movements. It points out that, if anything, separatists should expect to receive support from exactly the "unlike-minded " political party, as this party might see a break-up as an opportunity to reshape the electorate towards its own preferences. By doing so, a party could increase its future probability of being elected,
more » ... ile it is also able to shift the entire political spectrum towards its own partisan ideal. These political-strategic forces may induce unwanted, ine¢ cient break-ups. The model o¤ers a new perspective upon the debate around Scottish independence, while it can also be applied to issues of political integration (the European Union) and territorial con ‡icts (think of Crimea, as well as Israel). JEL-classi...cation: D72, H77
doi:10.2139/ssrn.2478012 fatcat:v42cwfxubbgz3brvdeyize7w6y