A few thoughts on the Catalan independence referendum

Source: Cato Institute
by Marian L Tupy

“For most Europeans, Spain without Catalonia is as strange of a concept as the United Kingdom without Scotland. But, independence can be a good way to lower tensions between peoples who no longer wish to remain a part of the same political entity and an excellent way to increase inter-jurisdictional competition, thereby allowing for greater institutional experimentation. Prior to the rise of the European nation states in the 16th and 17th centuries, Europe was sub-divided into hundreds of different states and statelets. Germany alone consisted of over 300 different political entities prior to Napoleon’s consolidation of the territories in 1806. These states offered their residents different sets of rights and responsibilities. They competed with one another in terms of policies, including religious tolerance and taxation. In fact, it was this territorial disunity that, scholars argue, enabled Europe to zoom past heavily centralized China to become the world’s leading economy.” (10/04/17)