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Abstract

In the contemporary world, the true locus of sovereignty is up for debate. The drive for Scottish independence from the United Kingdom, within the larger context of the European Union illustrates trends within this relocation of sovereignty. Traditional research focused primarily on the cultural and identity issues at play, as well as economic issues. This work broadens the scope by placing the independence struggle within a complex international context. The shift from a purely realist state system interpretation to that of a refereed Pacific Union illustrates when nationalist and separatist movements can find conditions that allow for a viable secessionist movement. This sheds light on why Scotland has chosen to formally pursue independence in the last decade. Additionally, this work takes into account the theoretical implications of a hard Brexit, soft Brexit, and no Brexit on the future timing of secessionist referenda in Scotland.

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