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Secession in Contemporary Europe: Brexit, Scotland, Catalonia

10 hour course

Martin Shaw (IBEI-University of Sussex and Roehampton)

June 25, 26, 27 and 28 (11.30 – 2.00 pm)

The secession of national units from larger states and empires has long been a feature of the international system, and emerged in many different contexts during the twentieth century. Historically, secession has often been associated with war and violence, but it has been argued that in democratic states, and especially within the European Union, peaceful secession is possible. This course will look at the problem of secession in Europe during the current decade, examining the similarities and differences between the movements for independence within the EU in Scotland and Catalonia and the British nationalist movement to exit the EU itself. The course will take Brexit, the only movement to have moved to a formal separation process, as a starting point, then examine the other two cases, and attempt to come to some conclusions on the issues involved in secession today.