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Separatist Movements
by Brian Beary
Some 30 new countries have been born over the past two decades – and more than a hundred new ones are clamoring for recognition. Most of the new nations have emerged from the ashes of the former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. Their independence has been quickly recognized, and most today are functioning states. Yet around the world, many de facto states are not recognized, such as Kosovo, Somaliland, Taiwan, Transdniestra and Nagorno-Karabakh. Meanwhile, dozens of ethnic communities, such as the Kurds and Tamils, want a self-governing homeland. Why have some states and separatist movements secured international support and others not? Is separatism a consequence of the spread of democracy and human rights or symptomatic of a rise in localism, provincialism and nationalism? What is the best policy to adopt towards separatist movements? And what impact does the emergence of regional integration movements like the European Union have on separatism?

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