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Marc Sanjaume-Calvet. (2023) The secessionist’s PrinceRegional & Federal Studies 0:0, pages 1-2.


Are secessionisms from and within the EU comparable? What motivates them and to what extent do they pose similar challenges to EU territorial governance? This article addresses these questions by comparing the framing of the British Leave campaign and the Catalan independence movement. Drawing on the FraTerr database and method, the analysis suggests that secessionism from the EU and secessionism within the EU are different political phenomena despite sharing an emphasis on sovereignty and the common goal of breaking-up from an existing polity. Secessionism from the EU is primarily a call for the recovery of lost sovereignty and of classical functions of the state such as border control. Secessionism within the EU invokes sovereignty as the right to external self-determination and adds narratives around a better future and greater democratic quality and social justice. These two types of secessionism pose different challenges to EU territorial governance because the first entails a full rejection of the European project while the latter calls for a review of European multi-level governance.

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.