Opening the black box of secessionism, by Laia Balcells

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For a long time, social scientists have studied nationalism and ethnic conflict from multiple dimensions. They have analyzed how ethnic diversity affects governance in democratic countries, trust and reciprocity, violent conflict, civil wars, and resistance to foreign occupation, among other things. The results tend to be pessimistic, although there are some optimistic findings such as that ethnic heterogeneity is not significantly related to violent conflict1 or that altruism is not intrinsically related to coethnicity2. In comparative politics, secessionism has often …