Secession is the withdrawal of a group from a larger entity, especially a political entity , but also from any organization, union or military alliance. Some of the most famous and significant secessions have been: the former Soviet republics leaving the Soviet Union, and Algeria leaving France. Threats of secession can be a strategy for achieving more limited goals. There is a great deal of theorizing about secession so that it is difficult to identify a consensus regarding its definition. In his book Secession: The Morality of Political Divorce From Fort Sumter to Lithuania and Quebec , Buchanan outlined limited rights to secession under certain circumstances, mostly related to oppression by people of other ethnic or racial groups, and especially those previously conquered by other people. According to the book Secession and Security by George Mason political scientist Ahsan Butt, states respond violently to secessionist movements if the potential state would pose a greater threat than a violent secessionist movement would. Some theories of secession emphasize a general right of secession for any reason "Choice Theory" while others emphasize that secession should be considered only to rectify grave injustices "Just Cause Theory". Aleksander Pavkovic,  associate professor at the Department of Politics and International Studies at Macquarie University in Australia and the author of several books on secession describes five justifications for a general right of secession within liberal political theory: . Secession theorists have described a number of ways in which a political entity city, county, canton, state can secede from the larger or original state:   . Allen Buchanan, who supports secession under limited circumstances, lists arguments that might be used against secession: . Coggins, there are four potential explanations in the academic literature for the drastic increase in state birth during the 20th century: . Other scholars have linked secession to resource discoveries and extraction. Carter, H. Goemans and Ryan Griffiths find that border changes among states tend to conform to borders for previous administrative units. Several scholars have argued that changes in the international system have made it easier to survive and prosper as a small state. For example, new states can obtain assistance from international organizations, such as the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and United Nation. Woodrow Wilson's proclamations on self-determination in created a surge in secessionist demands. Most sovereign states do not recognize the right to self-determination through secession in their constitutions. Many expressly forbid it. However, there are several existing models of self-determination through greater autonomy and through secession. In liberal constitutional democracies the principle of majority rule has dictated whether a minority can secede. The Supreme Court in Texas v. White held secession could occur "through revolution, or through consent of the States. The Chinese Communist Party followed the Soviet Union in including the right of secession in its constitution in order to entice ethnic nationalities and Tibet into joining. However, the Party eliminated the right to secession in later years, and had anti-secession clause written into the Constitution before and after the founding the People's Republic of China. The Constitution of the Union of Burma contained an express state right to secede from the union under a number of procedural conditions. It was eliminated in the constitution of the Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma officially the "Union of Myanmar". Burma still allows "local autonomy under central leadership". As of the constitutions of Austria, Ethiopia, France, and Saint Kitts and Nevis have express or implied rights to secession. Switzerland allows for the secession from current and the creation of new cantons. In the case of proposed Quebec separation from Canada the Supreme Court of Canada in ruled that only both a clear majority of the province and a constitutional amendment confirmed by all participants in the Canadian federation could allow secession. The draft of the European Union Constitution allowed for the voluntary withdrawal of member states from the union, although the State which wanted to leave could not be involved in the vote deciding whether or not they can leave the Union. As a result of the successful constitutional referendum held in , every municipality in the Principality of Liechtenstein has the right to secede from the Principality by a vote of a majority of the citizens residing in this municipality. Movements that work towards political secession may describe themselves as being autonomy , separatist , independence , self-determination , partition , devolution , decentralization , sovereignty , self-governance or decolonization movements instead of, or in addition to, being secession movements. During the 19th century, the single British colony in eastern mainland Australia, New South Wales NSW was progressively divided up by the British government as new settlements were formed and spread. Victoria Vic in and Queensland Qld in However, settlers agitated to divide the colonies throughout the later part of the century; particularly in central Queensland centred in Rockhampton in the s and s, and in North Queensland with Bowen as a potential colonial capital in the s. Secession movements have surfaced several times in Western Australia WA , where a referendum for secession from the Federation of Australia passed with a two-thirds majority. The referendum had to be ratified by the British Parliament , which declined to act, on the grounds that it would contravene the Australian Constitution.
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