MetaTOC stay on top of your field, easily

The strategies of counter‐secession: How states prevent independence

Nations and Nationalism

Published online on


["Nations and Nationalism, Volume 28, Issue 3, Page 788-805, July 2022. ", "\nAbstract\nThe majority of states in the world today were created via secession, but a majority of secessionist movements have failed to gain independence. Counter‐secession is not only more successful than secession; it is also more common. There are over 300 nations today that lack sovereign states, as well as untold thousands more groups whose identities never became nationalist or who were never able to create robust movements in the first place. Nonetheless, counter‐secession is comparatively understudied, and a small but growing number of excellent analyses often focus on a single state strategy. Independence is rarely won quickly or cheaply, as existing states fight to maintain their borders across four phases of secession: identity formation, group mobilisation, (un)armed struggle and international recognition. This article presents the repertoire of states' counter‐secession strategies throughout the secessionist struggle, including cultural assimilation, administrative organisation, civilian displacement, banning secessionist political activity, fragmenting the secessionist movement, economic coercion, violent repression and blocking international recognition. This collective analysis of the causal logic and illustrative historical examples of state counter‐secession strategies lays the foundation for a more comprehensive research programme on counter‐secession across time and space.\n"]