Rethinking Sovereignty

Independence-lite, devolution-max and national accommodation

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Abstract

National self-determination does not necessarily entail independence. Many nationality movements in Europe have historically called for a continued association with the host state. Non-nationalist parties, in turn, have often embraced various forms of devolution. This has opened up a middle ground, in the form of ‘independence-lite’ or ‘devolution max’, which would give nations control of most domestic policy. Proposals on these lines have been put forward in Quebec, Catalonia, the Basque Country and Scotland. These would allow stateless nations to strike distinct social and economic compro- mises. They would not give them control over the levers of macro-economic policy. They would entail a bilateral relationship with the state. Such propos- als have not found favour with state majorities, and recent debates have been characterized by rather traditional assertions of sovereignty at odds with our interdependent world.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-29
Number of pages21
JournalRevista d’Estudis Autonòmics i Federals
Volume16
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012

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accommodation
sovereignty
decentralization
national self-determination
economic policy
domestic policy
Basque
nationality
compromise
economics
Catalonia

Keywords

  • devolution
  • independence

Cite this

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title = "Rethinking Sovereignty: Independence-lite, devolution-max and national accommodation",
abstract = "National self-determination does not necessarily entail independence. Many nationality movements in Europe have historically called for a continued association with the host state. Non-nationalist parties, in turn, have often embraced various forms of devolution. This has opened up a middle ground, in the form of ‘independence-lite’ or ‘devolution max’, which would give nations control of most domestic policy. Proposals on these lines have been put forward in Quebec, Catalonia, the Basque Country and Scotland. These would allow stateless nations to strike distinct social and economic compro- mises. They would not give them control over the levers of macro-economic policy. They would entail a bilateral relationship with the state. Such propos- als have not found favour with state majorities, and recent debates have been characterized by rather traditional assertions of sovereignty at odds with our interdependent world.",
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AB - National self-determination does not necessarily entail independence. Many nationality movements in Europe have historically called for a continued association with the host state. Non-nationalist parties, in turn, have often embraced various forms of devolution. This has opened up a middle ground, in the form of ‘independence-lite’ or ‘devolution max’, which would give nations control of most domestic policy. Proposals on these lines have been put forward in Quebec, Catalonia, the Basque Country and Scotland. These would allow stateless nations to strike distinct social and economic compro- mises. They would not give them control over the levers of macro-economic policy. They would entail a bilateral relationship with the state. Such propos- als have not found favour with state majorities, and recent debates have been characterized by rather traditional assertions of sovereignty at odds with our interdependent world.

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