Waving goodbye? The determinants of autonomism and secessionism in Western Europe
Waving goodbye? The determinants of autonomism and secessionism in Western Europe. Regional Studies. This paper sheds light on the main aggregate-level determinants of electoral support for regionalist parties across 10 Western European countries. A region being relatively richer than the country to which it belongs is associated with higher electoral support for regionalist parties only to the extent that the region is culturally differentiated. This hypothesis is substantiated theoretically, tested empirically and found to hold in the form of a strong and significant interaction effect between cultural and economic variables. This result, omitted in previous studies, implies a profound change in the interpretation of the role of income and cultural differences in explaining support for regionalism, for both autonomist and separatist parties.