Featured weekly article: Institutions, Identity and Unity: The Anomaly of Australian Nationalism

Institutions, Identity and Unity: The Anomaly of Australian Nationalism

Joseph M. Parent

Volume 7, Issue 2, pages 2-28, March 2008

 

Abstract

Why has Australia not produced a viable separatist movement? This non-event is all the more striking compared to the separatism experienced by the United Kingdom, United States, and Canada, among others. Individually or combined, the major paradigms cannot explain separatism or its absence. This paper advances an elite persuasion argument and contends that success of separatist movements depends on the conditions in which elites appeal for autonomy. Specifically, five conditions are necessary for a viable separatist movement: 1) cultural differences, 2) economic incentives, 3) security, 4) concentrated minority settlement patterns, and 5) favourable domestic institutions. The analysis focuses on a comparison between Australia and Canada, but has implications for other separatist and potentially separatist areas.

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