Breaking Away differs from countless other books on secession and decentralization in that it considers examples and benefits of secession and radical decentralization in a much broader historical, geographical, and theoretical context. This book is for anyone interested in how issues of secession and decentralization come up again and again worldwide as communities of human beings seek self-determination, freedom, and economic prosperity. McMaken also examines small states which are often examples of successful cases of secession and radical decentralization.
The reader will come away with a better understanding of how political decentralization continues to be relevant, useful, and important in the modern world.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Carlo Lottieri
Introduction: Universal Rights, Locally Enforced
Part I: Big States, Small States, and Secession
1. More Choices, More Freedom, Less Monopoly Power
2. Political Anarchy Is How the West Got Rich
3. Why Regimes Prefer Big States and Centralized Power
4. Why the Classical Liberals Wanted Decentralization
5. Secession as a Path to Self-Determination
6. Nationalism as National Liberation: Lessons from the End of the Cold War
7. A Brief History of Secession Plebiscites in Europe
8. Why the US Supports Secession for Africans, but Not for Americans
9. From Taxes to Trade, More Secession Means More Freedom
10. If California Secedes, What Happens to Locals Who Opposed Secession?
11. How Small Is Too Small?
12. When It Comes to National Defense, It’s More than Size that Matters
13. If America Splits Up, What Happens to the Nukes?
Part II: Decentralization and Democracy
14. Why “One Man, One Vote” Doesn’t Work
15. Democracy Doesn’t Work Unless It’s Done Locally
Part III: Lessons from America’s Past, and Strategies for the Future
16. How Early Americans Decentralized Military Power
17. Before Roe v. Wade, Abortion Policy was a State and Local Matter
18. When Immigration Policy Was Decentralized
19. Why Indian Tribal Sovereignty Is Important
20. Sovereignty for Cities and Counties: Decentralizing the American States
Postscript: A Tale of Two Megastates: Why the EU Is Better (In Some Ways) than the US