Globalization and separatism: The influence of internal and external interdependence on the strategies of separatism

Ryan D. Griffiths, Ivan Savić

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


At the heart of all separatist movements is the idea that the community in question would be better off handling its own affairs, including its economic affairs. The existence of economic globalization introduces a paradox: secession cannot produce full autonomy in economic matters because states with smaller economies tend to have less policy autonomy. This paper argues that separatist movements will use very different strategies depending on the level of external (supra-national) and internal (sub-national) economic integration. Separatist groups in developed states (which tend to be integrated both at the domestic and international level) are more likely to look to political means and to support supra-national economic institutions to reduce their dependence on the central government, while such groups in developing countries (which tend to have lower levels of both types of integration) are more likely to use traditional, often violent, means of achieving independence. We test these arguments by examining the strategies of long standing separatist movements in Scotland, Quebec, Biafra and Tamil Eelam.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)429-454
Number of pages26
JournalPerspectives on Global Development and Technology
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Apr 1 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Civil war
  • Globalization
  • Interdependence
  • Separatism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Education
  • Development
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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