The Independence Case in Comparative Perspective

Robert Lineira, Daniel Cetra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Scotland is not the only sub-state unit in Europe where relevant political actors make claims for independence. To generate insights on these independence demands, we compare the drivers, arguments and popular support for secession in Scotland, the Basque Country, Catalonia and Flanders. We argue that national identity, party politics and the economy are behind the independence requests, and the exact articulation of these elements varies from case to case. Currently, the most salient of these demands are the ones from Catalonia; Basque demands for self-determination are less prominent than in the past, whereas the demand for a vote on independence is much less articulated in Flanders. Although the Scottish independence referendum has set a precedent for solving independence disputes, we argue that the possibilities of exporting the Scottish referendum experience to other realities are limited.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-264
Number of pages8
JournalPolitical Quarterly
Issue number2
Early online date4 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2015


  • secession
  • independence referendums
  • Basque Country
  • Catalonia
  • Flanders
  • Scotland


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