Expectations and effects of regional independence: A comparison of Catalonia and Scotland
This project provides new theoretical propositions and survey evidence regarding the support for greater regional self-government and independence and the effect that pro-independence campaigns have on citizens. We hope to capture “politically realistic” aspects of the independence mobilization debate, with comparative evidence from Catalonia and Scotland. Regarding support for self-government, we argue that individual-level preferences for self-government are driven by differing views and expectations of what greater self-government or independence would actually entail. Because self-government is multi-dimensional in nature (as newly autonomous regions would face changes or trade-offs in sovereignty, fiscal, and cultural domains as well as in procedural elements of how such autonomy is achieved), we will assess whether and how much citizens prefer various “scenarios of self-government,” which is a more subtle measurement of support for these issues. Second, we will test theories that these self-government mobilization efforts have created varying amounts of fatigue and non-political spillovers, by affecting incentives for citizens to want to economically cooperate with either co-nationalists in these regions or with people who are “activists” on the issue.