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Keeping the Peace After Secessions: Territorial Conflicts Between Rump and Secessionist States
Unformatted Document Text:  Keeping the Peace After Secessions: Territorial Conflicts Between Rump and Secessionist States Jaroslav Tir 303 Candler Hall Department of International Affairs University of Georgia Athens, GA 30602 ## email not listed ## February 22, 2005 Abstract: A secession occurs when a homeland region of a country becomes its own, new state (e.g. Eritrea), leaving behind the rump state (e.g. Ethiopia). Extant ethnic secession literature either advocates or warns against secessions as a means for dealing with inter-ethnic conflict, but does not provide an explanation of why some secessions are followed by international-level uses of force to redraw the secession-created boundary (e.g. Ethiopia-Eritrea) while others are not (e.g. Sweden-Norway). We fill this gap by relying on a territorial dispute explanation of post-secession armed conflict over land. In a model that applies to ethnic and non-ethnic cases alike, we argue that the leader of the rump state is motivated to use force by the benefits of retaking the land lost to the secessionist state, while the secessionist state’s leader is motivated by the benefits of acquiring even more land. The secession process (i.e. peaceful or violent) conditions whether these desires are turned into the use of force. The results – based on the examination of the aftermath of all 20 th century secessions – are highly supportive of the model. They reveal that intangibly- (e.g. ethnically-) based territorial disputes play a much greater role in conflict onset than do tangibly- (e.g. economically- or strategically-) based territorial disputes and that – despite the ethnic secession literature’s predictions to the contrary – peaceful secessions lead to peaceful relations. The findings provide policymakers with new knowledge as to whether and when secessions are appropriate conflict management tools. Prepared for delivery at the 2005 Annual Meeting of the International Studies Association, Honolulu, HI, March 1-5, 2005. I wish to thank Paul Diehl, Bear Braumoeller, Dina Zinnes, John Vasquez, Doug Gibler, and Doug Stinnett for their help in the development of this paper, and Paul Huth and Todd Allee for sharing their territorial dispute data.

Authors: Tir, Jaroslav.
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Keeping the Peace After Secessions: Territorial Conflicts Between Rump and
Secessionist States



Jaroslav Tir
303 Candler Hall
Department of International Affairs
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602
## email not listed ##



February 22, 2005



Abstract: A secession occurs when a homeland region of a country becomes its own, new state (e.g.
Eritrea), leaving behind the rump state (e.g. Ethiopia). Extant ethnic secession literature either advocates
or warns against secessions as a means for dealing with inter-ethnic conflict, but does not provide an
explanation of why some secessions are followed by international-level uses of force to redraw the
secession-created boundary (e.g. Ethiopia-Eritrea) while others are not (e.g. Sweden-Norway). We fill
this gap by relying on a territorial dispute explanation of post-secession armed conflict over land. In a
model that applies to ethnic and non-ethnic cases alike, we argue that the leader of the rump state is
motivated to use force by the benefits of retaking the land lost to the secessionist state, while the
secessionist state’s leader is motivated by the benefits of acquiring even more land. The secession
process (i.e. peaceful or violent) conditions whether these desires are turned into the use of force. The
results – based on the examination of the aftermath of all 20
th
century secessions – are highly supportive
of the model. They reveal that intangibly- (e.g. ethnically-) based territorial disputes play a much greater
role in conflict onset than do tangibly- (e.g. economically- or strategically-) based territorial disputes and
that – despite the ethnic secession literature’s predictions to the contrary – peaceful secessions lead to
peaceful relations. The findings provide policymakers with new knowledge as to whether and when
secessions are appropriate conflict management tools.







Prepared for delivery at the 2005 Annual Meeting of the International Studies Association, Honolulu, HI,
March 1-5, 2005. I wish to thank Paul Diehl, Bear Braumoeller, Dina Zinnes, John Vasquez, Doug
Gibler, and Doug Stinnett for their help in the development of this paper, and Paul Huth and Todd Allee
for sharing their territorial dispute data.


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