Saturday, October 28, 2017

Catalonia, separatist wars, and the UN

Catalonia will almost certainly end in bloodshed, unless both sides take a deep breath, calm down, and step away from the brink.

Over the last decade, between one third and one half of wars have been fought over separatism and secession. There is an opportunity for the UN to offer its services in places where separatism is an issue, because negotiations about separatism are complex, ranging across history, ethnicity, culture, economics, injustice (perceived and real) and even philosophy of the nature of the state. Plebscites and referenda at one point in time, and at a particular state of public knowledge and ignorance, as we in Britain know to our cost, are not necessarily a perfect metric.

The UN is at the moment building up its establishment of mediators, and we must hope that it will focus its resources on separatism.

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