June 13, 2022
Activities /
Posted by NCID

Belgian researcher from Rovira i Virgili University Sabine Flamand visited NCID to give a seminar entitled "Stay, Split or Strike: Theory and Evidence on Secessionist vs Centrist Conflict". She explained that those ethnic minorities rich in natural resources (such as those in East Timor or Biafra in Nigeria) are more likely to join separatist movements. According to Flamand, federalism and decentralization are two measures that can reduce the possibility of the outbreak of separatist conflict. 

"Secessionist movements are all over the world. About half of the civil wars that have taken place since 1950 have been related to separatism", explained the researcher. 

Flamand also pointed out that a secessionist conflict is only possible when the rich groups in the region demand it and mobilize for it and added that "a great opposition increases the possibility of a centralist conflict rather than a separatist one". 

Finally, the speaker also explained that, "although ethnic minorities rich in natural resources are more likely to support separatist movements, these secessionist processes also occur in areas where the sources of wealth are different, such as Catalonia".