|Picture Credit: flickr.com/SBA73
States like to pretend that they are "eternal," but states are really quite ephemeral. Old states fall apart and new ones come into being. In the 1990s, Czechoslovakia divided into two states, while Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union collapsed into many smaller states. What moves people to claim the right to form a new state, and what leads to a successful outcome (i.e. independence)? In a globalizing world, with decreasing national sovereignty and closer ties between people everywhere, what is the attraction of forming another independent state? Repressive governments, denying minority populations their rights, seem to be the main impetus for independence movements. But once independence is gained, other minorities may, in turn, be disregarded or oppressed in the new emerging state. As an alternative to independence, some groups call for increased autonomy within the same state. Though, increased autonomy sometimes increases claims for future independence.
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