May 14, 2013

Independence Movements

Movements Around the World: The State of Sovereignty Initiatives in Scotland, Québec and Catalonia

The year 2012 was marked by a resurgence of sub-national independence movements around the world. On the heels of its first absolute majority victory in the Scottish Parliament, the Scottish National Party led the charge for a referendum on independence. After reaching an agreement with the British government, an up-or-down vote will be held in late 2014. In Québec, the Parti québécois formed a minority government in late 2012, bringing independence back onto the agenda after nearly 10 years out of power. In Catalonia, over one million people marched in support of independence in September 2012. Though the moderate separatist government led by the Convergence and Union Party lost ground in recent elections, separatists still make up enough seats to be able to call a referendum on independence. The Spanish government has vowed to block any vote on the issue.

This program aimed to frame the debate on these independence movements and discuss their possible trajectories in 2013 and beyond. The event provided a forum to discuss and exchange on differing experiences with similar referendums and devolution in the past.

Meet the Panel

Stephane Paquin

Stéphane Paquin

Clara Ponsati

Clara Ponsati

Kimberly Cowell-Myers

Kimberly Cowell-Meyers

Andrew Hughes Hallett

Andrew Hughes Hallett

Meet the Moderator

Charles King

Charles King

Charles King is Professor of International Affairs and Government at Georgetown University, where he previously served as chairman of the faculty of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.