Perilous road to a sovereign state
From Iraq’s Kurd region and Catalonia, the lesson for national determination movements: Costs of pushing for secession are too high.
Written by Arnab Neil Sengupta | Updated: December 21, 2017 7:37 am
Pro independence supporters wrapped in Kurdish flags chant at a referendum rally in Irbil. (AP File Photo/Bram Janssen)
Ever since two ethnic groups in two different parts of the world held controversial independence referendums this year, only to invite severe retribution from their central governments, even the most prudent political pundits have struggled to pass judgment without betraying either double standard or moral confusion. Notwithstanding the panoply of arguments both for and against secessionism provoked by the two disputed votes, an issue that cuts to the heart of the matter remains unresolved: Given what is going on in Iraqi Kurdistan and Spain’s Catalan region, is the putative gain in the form of national sovereignty really worth the pain?
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