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(Newswise — DALLAS (SMU) – What most sparks a region’s desire to seek independence from their country – income or identity?
A new study from SMU (Southern Methodist University, Dallas) and UC3M (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain) found that the group people identify with tends to play a bigger factor in secession than differences in per capita income between regions.
Identity was shown to be a larger factor than income for many real-life examples of pro-independence movements in recent years – such as Tibet in China and Tigray and other Southern Nations in Ethiopia. Researchers looked at a total of 173 countries with 3,003 subnational regions, like Texas and California in the United States or Canadian provinces in Quebec and Ontario.
The mathematical model that SMU and UC3M created also would have correctly predicted that the Soviet Union was in danger of collapsing before its eventual demise in 1991 and which Soviet republics would have been the first to declare independence.
“What we found is striking: separatism would be alive and well even if there were no income differences between regions, whereas it would…Identity, not income, drives desire to secede