Is Pandora's Box Half-Empty or Half-Full? The Limited Virulence of Secessionism and the Domestic Sources of Disintegration

Stephen M. Saideman
Content Type
Working Paper
University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation (IGCC)
Is secession contagious? If so, can it be contained or quarantined to limit its spread? These two questions must be addressed to understand the challenges posed by ethnic divisions within and between states today. The end of ideological competition between the United States and the Soviet Union has not ushered in an era of global peace, but instead a period characterized by ethnic conflicts within many states. The coincidence of the disintegrations of the Soviet, Yugoslav, and Czechoslovak federations suggests that secession does spread with potentially nasty consequences.
Security, Ethnic Conflict, Nationalism, Politics, Sovereignty
Political Geography
United States, Eastern Europe