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Griffiths explains how aspiring nations go about winning sovereignty

Griffiths_Secession and the Sovereignty GameWhat is the strategy of secession and how do tactics vary by the kind of independence movement? In his new book, “Secession and the Sovereignty Game: Strategy and Tactics for Aspiring Nations” (Cornell University Press, 2021), Maxwell School faculty member Ryan Griffiths argues that the rules and informal practices regarding state recognition create a strategic playing field between existing states and aspiring nations.

To win sovereign statehood, an aspiring nation must compel and persuade its home state and the international community to provide recognition. This book explains how aspiring nations go about it, the dynamics that follow, and how tactics vary according to local conditions. It combines original data, fieldwork in a dozen breakaway regions, more than 100 interviews with secessionist leaders, and case studies on Catalonia, the Murrawarri Republic, West Papua, Bougainville, New Caledonia and Northern Cyprus.

Griffiths, associate professor of political science, researches topics on secession, sovereignty and international order. Past publications include “Age of Secession: The International and Domestic Determinants of State Birth” (Cambridge University Press, 2016). He received a Ph.D. in international relations and comparative politics at Columbia University.