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journal article

Determining the Sources of Irredentism: Logit Analyses of Minorities At Risk Data

by Stephen M. Saideman and R. William Ayres

Journal of Politics
vol. 62, iss. 4
pp. 1126 - 1144
November 2000

Irredentism and secessionism have been important causes of international conflict in the 1990's, yet few have considered why ethnic groups desire union with kin elsewhere or want to become independent. Why do groups desire independence rather than union with kin, or vice versa? We consider five distinct explanations: the nature of the group itself; the group's kin; contagion processes; ethnic security dilemmas; and the end of the Cold War. Using logit, we analyze data from the Minorities at Risk Dataset, both Phase I and Phase III. Our findings support elements of the conventional wisdom--ethnic kin influence irredentism and that violence between a group and its host state increases secessionism. Contrary to current debates, groups that are more concentrated are more likely to be secessionist. Further, some factors are less important than usually argued: relative size, a group's ethnic distinctiveness, economic and political differences, regime type and economic growth.


 
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Information current as of May 6, 2004