Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis



First Advisor

Timothy Nordstrom

Relational Format



The following work is an attempt to understand why separatist movements become violent. In any given region of the world under any given state, there will always be a group of people who are not content with the present order of government. If this group is large enough, it will most likely try to alter the structure of the government, which often takes the form of separatism. I want to understand the methods of these separatist movements and specifically, why some resort to violence and others do not. The first part of my thesis analyzes different separatist movements. I chose four to study: Quebec, Scotland, Eritrea, and Chechnya. These four examples vary widely in terms of geographic region, political culture, economic development, population, etc, etc. However, the cases of Quebec and Scotland were sufficient examples of peaceful separatist movements while Eritrea and Chechnya contrast for their violence. The last chapter is an attempt to understand how separatist movements develop and most importantly, why they become violent.

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