Secession and Expulsion: Lessons for the EU from United States History, 1789 - 1861

Richard J. Sweeney

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If secession or expulsion ends in a `velvet divorce,' as with Czechoslovakia, costs areminimal and the split is relatively unimportant. High costs arise if a federation splits into mutuallyhostile, comparably sized regions. Perhaps the majority of splits lead to dangerous hostility. Awell-designed constitution minimizes the likelihood of hostile splits by limiting the issues that aredealt with at the federal level, by providing checks and balances, and by establishing due processunder the rule of law. Preventing the conditions under which a hostile split may arise is more costeffectivethan trying to optimize the terms of a split or to find last-minute compromises toforestall the split.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationKøbenhavn
Number of pages42
ISBN (Electronic)x656312679
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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