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Semester 1

Comparative Politics of Secession (PLIT10134)







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Visiting students must have completed 4 Politics courses at grade B or above. We will only consider University/College level courses, and we cannot consider interdisciplinary courses or courses without sufficient Politics/Government/International Relations focus. Applicants should note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission, and priority will be given to students studying on exchange within the Politics department. **Please note that all Politics courses are very high-demand, meaning that they have a very high number of students wishing to enrol in a very limited number of spaces.** Visiting students are advised to bear in mind that enrolment in specific courses can never be guaranteed, and you may need to be flexible in finding alternatives in case your preferred courses have no available space. These enrolments are managed strictly by the Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department, and all enquiries to enrol in these courses must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the department directly to request additional spaces.

Course Summary

This course explores the politics of secession - the practice of creating new states out of existing ones. It explores why secessionist movements come about, how they mobilise support for their goals, and what happens once they manage to initiate the process of separation. The course combines theory with empirical material.

Course Description

The thematic focus of the course is secession. We will explore theories that account for the entire cycle of this phenomenon, from its emergence, through its political dynamics, to either successful or unsuccessful attempts to attain independent statehood. Theoretical material will be illustrated by, and applied to, a variety of historic and contemporary cases (e.g. Catalonia, Scotland, Quebec, Iraqi Kurdistan, Kosovo, Eritrea, Tamil Eelam). The foundation of the course is the discussion of the key features of multinational states, with a focus on the conditional legitimacy of their political-institutional framework and their borders. Indicative themes include: the emergence of secessionist movements; their efforts to mobilise support for independence; mechanics of separation (including a discussion of violent and non-violent secessions); independence referenda; policy issues related to the creation of new states; and the international political and legal aspects of secession .

Assessment Information

Written Exam 0%, Coursework 90%, Practical Exam 10%

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