Instituciones, fragmentación política y crecimiento económico

El objetivo de la presente entrada es doble. Por un lado, presentar las principales teorías sobre la secesión. Y, por otro lado, analizar cuáles son las consecuencias de la descentralización.

Para tratar el primer punto utilizaré un documento de la Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy titulado: Secession.

1 Philosophical issues of Secession

1.1 The distinction between (mere) justification and having a claim-right

Sometimes it is not clear whether a theorist is advancing a theory of the conditions under which secession is morally justified, that is, the conditions under which a group has a moral liberty-right or mere moral permission to secede, or a theory of the conditions under which a group has the claim-right to secede. Talk about “the right to secede” is ambiguous between these alternatives. A claim-right includes not only a liberty-right or mere permission (i.e., that a group is justified in seceding in the sense that if they do so they do not thereby act impermissibly), but also a correlative obligation on the part of others not to interfere with the attempted secession.

Having the liberty-right does not imply having the claim-right: A group might be morally justified in seceding and yet it might not be the case that others (including the state from which the group is seceding) are obligated to refrain from interfering with the group’s attempt to secede.

2. Theories of the Right to Secede

In the philosophical literature a distinction is drawn between two theories of the right to secede (understood as a unilateral claim-right): Remedial Right Only Theories and Primary Right Theories.[5] Remedial Right Only Theories analogize the right to secede to the right to revolution, understanding it as a right that a group comes to have only as a result of violations of other rights. On this view secession is justified only as a remedy of last resort for persistent and serious injustices. The right to unilateral secession thus understood is not primary, but rather derivative upon the violation of other, more basic rights; hence the label ‘remedial right only’.

Primary Right Theories are of two types: Ascriptivist (predominantly nationalist) Theories and Plebiscitary (or majoritarian) Theories. The former hold that certain groups whose memberships are defined by what are sometimes called ascriptive characteristics, simply by virtue of being those sorts of groups, have a unilateral (claim-)right to secede. Ascriptive characteristics are those that are ascribed to individuals independently of their choice and include being of the same nation or being a “distinct people”. The most common form of Ascriptivist theory holds that nations as such have a right of self-determination that includes the right to secede in order to have their own state.

Plebiscitary Theories in contrast hold that a unilateral moral claim-right to secede exists if a majority residing in a portion of the state chooses to have their own state there, regardless of whether or not they have any common characteristics, ascriptive or otherwise, other than the desire for independence. They need not be co-nationals or members of a distinct society.

What the two types of Primary Right Theories have in common is that they do not require injustice as a necessary condition for the existence of a unilateral (claim-)right to secede. They are Primary Right Theories because they do not make the unilateral (claim-)right to secede derivative upon the violation of other, more basic rights, as the Remedial Right Only Theories do.

Es decir, tenemos:

Remedial Right Only Theories: condicionan la existencia del derecho de secesión unilateral (claim-right) a la violación de otros derechos más básicos.

Primary Right Theories

  • Ascriptivist (predominantly nationalist) Theories.
  • Plebiscitary (or majoritarian) Theories.

2.1 The Right to secede as a right to territory.

As Lea Brilmayer has rightly stressed, secession is not simply the formation of a new political association among individuals or the repudiation by a group of persons of their obligation to obey the state’s laws (Brilmayer 1991). It is the taking of a part of the territory claimed by an existing state. Accordingly, rival theories of secession must be understood as providing alternative accounts of what it takes for a group to come to have a claim to territory that is at the time included in the territory of an existing state. We discover below that the most serious objections to the two varieties of Primary Right Theories question the cogency of their accounts of exactly what it is that gives a group within this state a claim to a portion of the territory claimed by the state. In contrast, the Remedial Right Only approach appears to provide a more cogent account of the secessionists’ claim to territory.

Esto es algo que creo que mucha gente no acaba de entender. Cuando debatimos sobre el derecho de secesión, no hablamos meramente del derecho a conformar una comunidad política, debatimos sobre por qué un grupo puede apropiarse un territorio de un Estado existente y erigirse legítimo.

Remedial Right Only: las ventajas que tienen estas teorías es que  anuncian implícitamente las condiciones necesarias para que un grupo se proclame legítimo en un territorio perteneciente a un Estado (la violación de derechos básicos). Las desventajas son que no permiten la secesión de grupos por mero anhelo de auto-determinación. De todas formas alguien que defendiera esta teoría respondería que el derecho a la auto-determinación y el derecho a la secesión unilateral no son lo mismo. Y que esta teoría no es incompatible con permitir formas de auto-gobierno para ciertas minorías dentro del Estado pero ello no confiere un derecho de secesión unilateral.

2.2 Remedial Right Only Theories

Given the tendency for unilateral secession to provoke massive violence, the obvious strength of the Remedial Right Only approach is that it places a significant constraint on unilateral secession—namely, the requirement of a serious and persistent grievance of injustice suffered by the secessionists. To that extent, it captures the intuition that nonconsensual state-breaking, like revolution, is a grave affair requiring a weighty justification. More specifically, this view provides a plausible explanation of how the state can come to lose its entitlement to the territory: it does so by failing to do what gives states a moral claim to control territory in the first place, namely, providing justice for those within its jurisdiction.

Another strength of the Remedial Right Only approach is that it appears to provide the right incentives: States that are just (or at least do not persist in very serious injustices) are immune to legally permitted unilateral secession and entitled to international support in maintaining their territorial integrity. On the other hand, if, as the theory recommends, a unilateral right to secede as a remedy for serious and persistent injustices is acknowledged, this will give states an incentive to act more justly.

Some critics have complained that the Remedial Right Only approach to unilateral secession is disturbingly irrelevant to the concerns of many groups seeking self-determination.

Thus the Remedial Right Only approach to unilateral secession is compatible with a fairly permissive stance toward intrastate autonomy, including various forms of self-government for national minorities within the state.

Moreover, the Remedial Right Only approach need not reject claims to independence on the part of nations; it only rejects the much stronger assertion that nations as such have a unilateral right to secede. In many cases the groups that suffer persistent grave injustices are in fact nations, and therefore would be accorded the right to secede by the Remedial Right Only Theory. To that extent it is inaccurate to say that this type of theory ignores the realities of national self-determination movements.

What the Remedial Right Only approach does not do is concede that nations as such—independently of any persisting pattern of grave injustices—have a unilateral right to secede. But it can be argued that this is a virtue of the account, not a defect. It thereby avoids the objection to which Ascriptivist Theories are vulnerable, namely, that they endorse a unilateral right to secede for all nations in a world in which virtually every state contains more than one nation and in which nations are not neatly sorted into discrete regions of the state’s territory, but instead claim the same territories.

Plebiscitary Theories: entre sus ventajas encontramos que no tienen necesidad de definir el concepto de nación y el proviso de la viabilidad del Estado. Lo paradójico de esta teoría es que la regla democrática no nos dice nada de cuáles son los límites del territorio estatal porque para aplicar la regla democrática es necesario que el territorio del Estado esté previamente definido. Es decir, si un grupo unilateralmente aplica la regla democrática para decidir los límites territoriales de un nuevo Estado, se está rompiendo la igualdad ante la ley que caracteriza a la democracia del Estado del que se quieren escindir.

Algunos libertarios argumentan que sí existe una razón para romper la igualdad ante la ley basándose en un tipo de teoría plebiscitaria. Según ésta teoría la proximidad física te confiere mayor poder de decisión sobre una determinada localización. Así, un Sevillano no debe tener el mismo poder de decisión sobre Barcelona que un Barcelonés. Las implicaciones últimas de ésta teoría es la sociedad de propietarios. Las calles de Catalunya formarían parte de la propiedad de los catalanes, pero como por pura proximidad física Barcelona es más de los barceloneses que del resto de catalanes, los primeros podrían excluir al resto de catalanes. Esta idea es un disparate por varios motivos:

  1. Es necesario explicar por qué el simple hecho de que un grupo de personas viva en un lugar y en un momento en particular les confiere un derecho de propiedad sobre los activos comunales más cercanos.
  2. Es necesario explicar por qué el simple hecho de que un grupo de personas viva en un lugar y en un momento en particular les confiere la capacidad de excluir a todos aquellos que se encuentren fuera del territorio donde se piensa aplicar la regla democrática en base a un hipotético derecho de propiedad comunal.
  3. Es necesario explicar de qué grupo hablamos. Los habitantes de una ciudad no se perpetúan en el tiempo. Si yo mañana me mudo a Sevilla en base a qué tengo derecho a impedir que el resto de andaluces o de pueblos cercanos vayan a Sevilla.
  4. Es necesario explicar la definición del territorio en el que se aplicaría la regla democrática.
  5. En base a qué podemos pensar que la secesión unilateral en base al mero reclamo de la los activos comunales de un grupo imperfectamente definido, situados en un territorio arbitrariamente definido podrá cumplir con el proviso de viabilidad del Estado y proteger los derechos civiles y económicos de sus ciudadanos. Cuidado, uno puede defender un derecho unilateral de secesión condicionado a la violación de derechos básicos (no entraré a definir la magnitud). Pero eso no es suficiente para justificar un derecho unilateral universal de secesión sustentado en un hipotético derecho de propiedad comunal. Tampoco es suficiente para explicar por qué las comunidades resultantes respetarán los derechos de los ciudadanos. Unilateral significa que ni el Estado repudiado ni la comunidad internacional tiene manera de influir en el proceso de secesión, ni para garantizar los derechos de los ciudadanos ni para conculcarlos. Es por ello que la secesión unilateral tiene más sentido en Estados que pierden su legitimidad por dejar de velar por los derechos de sus ciudadanos. Es decir, por dejar de cumplir las funciones por las que fue creado en primer lugar. En estas circunstancias tiene sentido una secesión unilateral debido a que el Estado ilegítimo ya no podrá seguir conculcando los derechos de los ciudadanos. Pero ex ante no hay motivos para pensar que la secesión unilateral basada en la hipotética propiedad comunal de un territorio será eficaz a la hora de proteger los derechos de sus ciudadanos sin la injerencia externa de otro Estado que sí vela por los derechos de sus ciudadanos y que sí tiene capacidad para procurar proteger los derechos de los ciudadanos del nuevo Estado, aunque no siempre tenga por qué ser así.
  6. Aunque no lo parezca, los Barceloneses ya tenemos más poder de decisión sobre Barcelona y sobre sus activos comunales que el resto de catalanes. De la misma forma que los catalanes tienen más poder de decisión sobre los activos comunales  de Catalunya que el resto de españoles. Para eso están las elecciones municipales y autonómicas. No cabe duda de que los grupos que hacen uso de activos comunales de forma recurrente requieren cierta forma de auto-gobierno para gestionar esos activos. Pero eso no justifica un derecho unilateral (quasi-universal) para apropiarse de un territorio y de todos sus activos.
  7. ¿Qué evidencia hay de que el grado de descentralización (¿Ciudades-Estado?) que sugieren los defensores de ésta teoría es funcional? (Más adelante me dedico a hacer un análisis de los puntos fuertes y flacos de la fragmentación política).

2.3 Plebiscitary theories

The appeal of Plebiscitary Theories is that they appear to make the determination of boundaries a matter of choice or, more accurately, of majority rule. To that extent they seek to bask in the popularity of democracy (Philpott 1995). Plebiscitary Theories typically add another necessary condition, beyond majority preference (in the region in question) for secession: Both the seceding unit and the remainder state must be able adequately to perform the basic functions that justify or legitimize states in the first place. Call this the State Viability Requirement.

The appeal of Plebiscitary Theories is two-fold. First, they avoid a problem that afflicts the other main type of Primary Right Theory, Ascriptivist Theories, because they do not require either an account of what constitutes a nation or an explanation of why nations have a right to their own state. Second, they are less conservative than Remedial Right Only Theories, allowing a democratic path to the redrawing of state boundaries, and this may be appealing, given the fact, as noted earlier, that existing boundaries may reflect national security needs and the need for large internal markets—considerations that are no longer as important in an era in which interstate wars are quite rare and markets extend across state borders.

However, given what is at stake in secession, it is far from clear that the mere fact that a majority of persons residing in a portion of a state desire independence should be a sufficient reason to give them a unilateral right to secede, in the absence of any grievances. Why should one assume that the mere fact of residence in an area authorizes persons to decide by majority vote not only to change their own ci

The first justification for democracy tells us that all who are members of a particular polity—all who must live under one system of rules that determine the fundamental character of social life—should have an equal say or should participate as equals in deciding what those rules are to be. But the principle of democratic rule cannot tell us what the boundaries of the polity should be, because in order to implement the democratic rule we must already have fixed the boundaries of the polity. The right to democratic governance is a principle that specifies a relation of equality among members of the same polity, not a right to determine the membership of polities or their territorial boundaries.

There is one more problem that proponents of the Plebiscitary approach have not addressed, at least not explicitly. A successful secession can create security risks for the remainder state, and it is not clear that this eventually is adequately taken into account in the Plebiscitary Theory’s State Viability Proviso.

Me salto el punto 2.4 en el que se tratan las ascriptivist theories porque tienen muchos problemas

El siguiente punto:

2.5 Situating theories of Secession within theories of Territorial Justice.

A theory of territorial justice would provide a coherent account of valid moral claims to territory of various types, from claims to full sovereign jurisdiction, to claims to the more limited jurisdictional control needed for various forms of intrastate autonomy (modes of self-determination short of full independence), to claims to participation in various forms of joint jurisdiction, to claims to permanent occupancy. Ascriptivist theories need such a theory in order to explain why nations (as opposed to other types of groups) have the most robust claim to territory, the jurisdiction over territory that constitutes sovereignty. Plebiscitary Theories, as we have already seen, need such a theory to explain why the fact that a group is a majority in a particular territory gives it a claim to sovereignty over that territory—and why the fact that those residing in the same territory who do not support secession have no special claim to that territory, not even one that falls short of the claim the majority has. Remedial Right Only Theories need an account of what forms of control over territory, short of full sovereignty, are appropriate for which groups, given the nature of the injustices they have suffered at the hands of the state. 

Es necesario tener en cuenta la realidad institucional de la que partimos. Terceros países pueden tener interés en intervenir en el proceso de secesión. El establecimiento de una nueva norma en el derecho internacional consuetudinario por la que cualquier grupo puede reclamar la secesión unilateral puede ser peligroso y generar secesiones que no cumplen los requerimientos de las teorías plebiscitarias, como el proviso de viabilidad de Estado. Por lo tanto, terceras partes si pueden estar interesadas en intervenir.

2.6 Narrowly vs Widely Institutional Theories

According to Altman and Wellman, whether a group has the right to secede depends only on its preference for independent statehood and on whether the new state it creates and the remainder state will be able adequately to perform the basic functions of government. On this view, the effects this group seceding or of other parties agreeing that it has the right to secede on future secessionist attempts or on the well-functioning of the international order are completely irrelevant to determining whether this group has the right to secede.

Suppose that a group within a legitimate, reasonably just state, is a majority in a portion of the state’s territory and prefers to have its own state. Whether they have the right to secede depends on whether there are sufficient reasons for other states to refrain from interfering with their attempt at secession (because the right in question is a claim-right). But whether other states ought to refrain from interfering with a secession or not interfere with the state’s attempt to prevent a secession can depend on whether behaving in this way is likely to help establish a new norm of customary international law that permits territorially-concentrated majorities unilaterally to form their own states without interference. In the absence of impartial institutions to determine when the conditions for justified secession according to the Plebiscitary Theory are met, such a new, much more permissive norm of customary international law would be dangerous—it would encourage secessions that do not meet the Plebiscitary Theories own criteria.

it follows that a theory of the moral right to secede must take into account existing institutional realities at all levels. And if that is so, then contrary to what theorists like Altman and Wellman assume, probing our moral intuitions about quite different phenomena in which the institutional context is quite different will not be a reliable guide to understanding the nature of the moral right to secede. For example, analogizing the decision of a minority group to break away and form their own state to the decision of two individuals to marry will not be very illuminating, because the supposed analogy omits any reference to the relevant institutional facts.

También es muy importante distinguir entre el derecho de secesión unilateral y el derecho a ser reconocido como legítimo por el resto de la comunidad internacional. Para ser legítimo el nuevo Estado debería respetar los derechos de sus ciudadanos.

Así, tener derecho a escindirse de un Estado de forma unilateral e intentar formar un Estado propio no puede ser suficiente para ser reconocido por la comunidad internacional. Condicionar la legitimidad del nuevo Estado con el respeto de los derechos de sus ciudadanos premia a los Estados que cumplen con esas condiciones.

4. Secession and the Philosophy of International Law

The difference between these two options can be appreciated if we take the example of a Remedial Right Only approach to proposals for reforming international law regarding secession. For simplicity, suppose that the Remedial Right Only theory under consideration recognizes only large-scale and persistent violations of basic human rights as grounding the unilateral right to secede, and suppose that group G has suffered such violations. On the first view, the proposal is that international law should simply acknowledge that G has the right to its own legitimate state if forming a new state is the remedy of last resort for large-scale, persistent violations of the basic human rights of members of G, where this means that other states should recognize the new entity as having all the rights, privileges, immunities, powers, and obligations this status entails. On the second view, there are two distinct questions the international law of secession should address: First, has G suffered large-scale and persistent violations of basic human rights and second, does G satisfy the conditions for recognitional legitimacy, for being recognized as a legitimate state? The second view would maintain that although the group’s having suffered large-scale and persistent violations of basic human rights is sufficient for acknowledging its right to repudiate the state’s jurisdiction and attempt to set up its own state, something more is required before international law should recognize the new entity as a legitimate state; in particular, the new state should provide credible assurances that it will respect the rights of minorities within its territory.

Making recognition of legitimate statehood dependent in this way upon satisfying basic requirements of justice obviously coheres with the Remedial Right Only theory’s approach to secession, which involves rewarding states that respect rights. But there is much to be said for distinguishing, regardless of which theory of the right to secede is adopted, between the right to secede (understood as the right to repudiate the state’s authority over a portion of its territory and to attempt to set up a new state there) and the right to recognition as a legitimate state. New entities created through secession typically are keen to receive recognition of their legitimacy because of the benefits this confers, including access to favorable trade regimes, loans and credits from international agencies such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, and the ability to participate as an equal with other states in the making of international law. Distinguishing between whether a group has the right to secede (to repudiate the state’s jurisdiction and attempt to establish its own state) and whether it has the right to recognition as a legitimate state enables the international legal system to impose normative conditions on recognition in circumstances in which new states have strong incentives to satisfy them.

 

Nortesur_01

 

Legalidad y fragmentación política.

Quisiera compartir una magnífica de Slate Star Codex en la que se expone la relación entre axiología, moral y ley. Después de leerlo, uno se da realmente cuenta de la ceguera intelectual derivada de no saber distinguir entre cada uno de estos conceptos y de ignorar por completo cuando uno debe prevalecer sobre el otro.

Axiology is the study of what’s good. If you want to get all reductive, think of it as comparing the values of world-states. A world-state where everybody is happy seems better than a world-state where everybody is sad.

At least from a rule-utilitarianesque perspective, morality is an attempt to triage the infinite demands of axiology, in order to make them implementable by specific people living in specific communities. It makes assumptions like “people have limited ability to predict the outcome of their actions”, “people are only going to do a certain amount and then get tired”, and “people do better with bright-line rules than with vague gradients of goodness”. It also admits that it’s important that everyone living in a community is on at least kind of the same page morally, both in order to create social pressure to follow the rules, and in order to build the social trust that allows the community to keep functioning. If you defy morality, you still make the world worse. And you feel guilty. And you betray the social trust that lets your community function smoothly. And you get ostracized as a bad person.

Law is an attempt to formalize the complicated demands of morality, in order to make them implementable by a state with police officers and law courts. It makes assumptions like “people’s vague intuitive moral judgments can sometimes give different results on the same case”, “sometimes police officers and legislators are corrupt or wrong”, and “we need to balance the benefits of laws against the cost of enforcing them”. It also tries to avert civil disorder or civil war by assuring everybody that it’s in their best interests to appeal to a fair universal law code rather than try to solve their disagreements directly. If you defy law, you still get all the problems with defying axiology and morality. And you make your country less peaceful and stable. And you go to jail.

In a healthy situation, each of these systems reinforces and promotes the other. Morality helps you implement axiology from your limited human perspective, but also helps prevent you from feeling guilty for not being God and not being able to save everybody. The law helps enforce the most important moral and axiological rules but also leaves people free enough to use their own best judgment on how to pursue the others. And axiology and morality help resolve disputes about what the law should be, and then lend the support of the community, the church, and the individual conscience in keeping people law-abiding.

In these healthy situations, the universally-agreed priority is that law trumps morality, and morality trumps axiology. First, because you can’t keep your obligations to your community from jail, and you can’t work to make the world a better place when you’re a universally-loathed social outcast. But also, because you can’t work to build strong communities and relationships in the middle of a civil war, and you can’t work to make the world a better place from within a low-trust defect-defect equilibrium. But also, because in a just society, axiology wants you to be moral (because morality is just a more-effective implementation of axiology), and morality wants you to be law-abiding (because law is just a more-effective way of coordinating morality). So first you do your legal duty, then your moral duty, and then if you have energy left over, you try to make the world a better place.

In unhealthy situations,

when morality and state law disagree, you get various acts of civil disobedience, from people hiding Jews from the Nazis all the way down to Kentucky clerks refusing to perform gay marriages.

I don’t have any special insight into these. My intuition (most authoritative source! is never wrong!) says that we should be very careful reversing the usual law-trumps-morality-trumps-axiology order, since the whole point of having more than one system is that we expect the systems to disagree and we want to suppress those disagreements in order to solve important implementation and coordination problems. But I also can’t deny that for enough gain, I’d reverse the order in a heartbeat. If someone told me that by breaking a promise to my friend (morality) I could cure all cancer forever (axiology), then f@$k my friend, and f@$k whatever social trust or community cohesion would be lost by the transaction.

Fijémonos en que uno debe tener buenas razones para desobedecer la ley. Desde la axiología es bastante fácil admitir el principio de secesión. Pero cuando uno comienza a explorar temas de implementación y de coordinación la cosa se vuelve más complicada y aparecen toda una serie de cuestiones mucho más interesantes de analizar.

Tal y como se expone en el texto, en la mayoría de situaciones el orden es ley-moralidad-axiología. Para revertir el orden (más aún en las sociedades relativamente libres de hoy en día) uno debe tener buenas razones. Pero es que, durante la historia, la gente ha llegado a no enfrentarse a regímenes totalitarios con tal de no generar males mayores.

Quizás ésta sea la razón por la que la desobediencia civil asociada a movimientos secesionistas es vista con mejores ojos cuando tienen lugar en sociedades totalitarias que en sociedades que proporcionan grandes esferas de libertad. Un ejemplo mencionado  por Tyler Cowen es el de Estonia cuando abandonó la Unión Soviética en 1991, mientras ésta se desmoronaba.

Sin embargo, en el mismo texto señala que otros movimientos secesionistas no reciben las mismas simpatías:

“Sometimes a region wants to leave a country because of differences of ethnicity, religion, language or background culture, as is the case with the Scottish independence movement and the Catalonian secessionists. In those instances, it’s not obvious whether a unified or a newly independent government would result in greater liberty and prosperity. And for all the strong feelings you will find, I am not sure there is an objectively correct moral answer as to whether there should be one nation or two.

We do know, however, that political tensions rise and emotions tend to flare as such secessions approach the realm of possibility. For instance, there is a chance the government of Spain would react aggressively to what it perceives as an unconstitutional Catalonian secessionist attempt. Madrid might institute legal sanctions against Catalonian leaders or, in an extreme case, send in troops. The final result could be no independence and less liberty in all parts of Spain.

The problem is that people are often overly passionate about political boundaries, and an extra dose of irrationality isn’t exactly what the world needs right now.”

Por tanto, el procedimiento para lograr la independencia, en un país con amplias esferas de libertad, debe de pasar preferiblemente por cambiar la ley del país. Por muy difícil que parezca que los ciudadanos permitan la secesión de parte del territorio que conforma su Estado.

Es de esperar que los ciudadanos y políticos del supra-estado se nieguen a promover reformas que permitan la secesión de parte del territorio. Sin embargo, una cosa es afirmar que el cumplimiento de la ley deba prevalecer y la otra pensar que negarse a cambiar el status-quo es correcto. No siempre será éticamente correcto permitir la independencia pero en ocasiones, sí. Sobretodo cuando no se deriven consecuencias negativas a raíz de la separación.

Como hemos visto los argumentos a favor de un derecho de secesión unilateral sin previa violación de los derechos básicos de sus ciudadanos son bastante flojos. Por tanto, en ausencia del motivo expuesto el cumplimiento de la ley debe prevalecer.

Pero aún cuando los ciudadanos del supra-estado se pongan de acuerdo para modificar la ley y permitir la secesión de parte de su territorio, todavía quedan algunos flecos por resolver. Por ejemplo, ¿Por qué deberían permitir la secesión de parte del territorio cuando el territorio que pretende escindirse no va a mantener la misma actitud abierta en aquellas regiones que deseen permanecer en el Estado actual?

En Canadá procuraron dar una solución a esta paradoja con la llamada Clarity Act:

El análisis de esa ley está en este post (aquí) de 2012 que, tal vez desafortunadamente, no ha perdido demasiada actualidad. La misma establece los pasos necesarios para lograr ese objetivo de la secesión, referéndum incluido, y sus condiciones que, muy sintéticamente, podemos reducir a tres. Ninguna de las cuales, por cierto, es cumplida en el proceso que impulsan hoy los secesionistas catalanes, por más que sigan queriéndose apoyar en ese precedente.

-El primer requisito es que el proceso comenzaría con una pregunta clara e indubitada en un referéndum sobre el deseo de secesión (y de ahí el nombre de “Ley de Claridad” como se conoce a la norma). Y que el mismo deba ganarse con unos requisitos especiales de participación, pues no se considera razonable que un cambio tan trascendental y de efectos tan generales sea decidido en definitiva por un sector minoritario de la población, como pretenden los impulsores del referéndum catalán y como ocurrió también con el aprobatorio de la última reforma estatutaria que tantos problemas ocasionó.

-El segundo requisito es que ese referéndum ganado sería un mero comienzo, y no un final del proceso de separación. Allí no pierden de vista que ese camino requeriría complejas negociaciones para resolver de forma amistosa todos los enormemente arduos problemas que una secesión trae consigo. Mucho mayores, por ejemplo, que los que ha de resolver el Reino Unido para salir de la Unión Europea, donde aun así se considera asfixiante el plazo legal de dos años para concluir un acuerdo.

-El tercero es que la cesión no ha de darse necesariamente sobre toda la provincia canadiense en la extensión territorial que hoy tiene. En este requisito quiero insistir hoy, pues en gran parte explica el citado y sorprendente giro de los secesionistas.

Conforme a la citada Ley, y como parte de esa negociación, si existen en la provincia consultada ciudades y territorios en los que la proporción de unionistas sea sustancial y claramente mayoritaria, aquélla, para separarse, debe aceptar desprenderse de ellos para que puedan (por ejemplo, formando para ello una nueva provincia) seguir siendo parte de Canadá. Esto parece que tiene una buena justificación. De la misma manera que Canadá adopta una postura abierta respecto a la potencial salida de territorios con una sustancial mayoría de habitantes que no desean seguir siendo canadienses, la Provincia también debe aceptar desprenderse de porciones de la misma por la razón, en este caso simétrica e idéntica, de que una mayoría sustancial de su población sí desee seguir siendo canadiense.

Ésta opción parece superior a la de simplemente permitir que un territorio entero se independice. ¿Qué problema hay? Pues que en muchos casos, en la medida en la que quepa la posibilidad de que el territorio nacional no se independice por completo, está reforma lograría desactivar el sentimiento nacionalista que movilizaba a los sectores favorables a la secesión. Es por ello que los secesionistas no demandan que se lleve a cabo tal ley.

Las consecuencias de la descentralización.

Por otro lado, encontramos toda una serie de pensadores que han defendido el principio de secesión como una forma de lograr mejores resultados. La idea es que cuantos más estados hayan estos competirán por la vía de la reducción de impuestos, la contención fiscal y la mejor protección de los derechos de propiedad. Sin embargo, como bien apunta Mark Koyama:

That argument rests on a faulty analogy between competition in the marketplace and competition between states.  The main problem it encounters is that while firms can only attract customers by offering lower prices (lower taxes) or better products (better public goods), states can compete with violence. Far from being competitive, low tax states like the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth were crushed in the high-pressure competitive environment that characterized early modern Europe. The notion that competition produced low taxes is also falsified by the well-established finding that taxes were much higher in early modern Europe than elsewhere in the world.

In general, political fragmentation raised barriers to trade and impeded market integration. Moreover a competitive state system means more conflict or more resources spent deterring conflict. For this reason political fragmentation tends to result in wasteful military spending.

Mark Koyama también escribió lo siguiente sobre capacidad estatal:

The evidence provided by a body of research suggests that prior to 1700 market development was impeded by political fragmentation both within and between states. Critics of the state capacity argument should engage with this literature.

The basic argument is this. Medieval and early modern states were mostly devices for rent-extraction and rent-seeking. But this rent-extraction and rent-seeking was largely decentralized. They collected taxes through a variety of costly and inefficient means (such as selling monopolies). They then spent the tax revenue on costly wars.

Decentralized rent-extraction was costly and inefficient. For example, it is well known that weights and measures varied from place to place in preindustrial Europe. What is less well known is that there were institutional reasons for this, as each local lord wanted to use his own measures in order to extract more surplus from the peasants who were forced to grind their grain using his mill. Local cities similarly used their own systems of weights and measures in order to extract surplus from traveling merchants. This benefited each local lord and city authority but imposed a large deadweight loss on the economy at large.

The logic of internal tariffs was similar. Each local lord or city would choose their internal tariffs in order to maximize their own income. But we know from elementary microeconomics that in this setting each local authority will set these tariffs “too high” because they will not take into account the effect of their tax rate on the tax revenue of their neighbors who also set their tariffs too high.

When early modern European rulers invested in state capacity, they sought to abolish or restrict such internal tariffs, to impose uniform taxes, and to standardize weights and measures. This resulted in a reduction in deadweight loss as when the king set the tax rate he considered the tax revenue he gets from his entire realm, and internalized the negative externality mentioned above.  The reasoning is identical to that which states that a single combined monopolist may be preferable to an up-stream and down-stream monopolist. When it comes to a public bad (like rent-seeking) a monopolist is preferable to competition.

Por lo tanto, existe evidencia de que la fragmentación política puede derivar en mayor captura regulatoria. Cuando el poder se descentraliza cabe la posibilidad de que se vayan perdiendo contrapesos al poder central. ¿Por qué? Pues porque en un Estado centralizado los mismos poderes locales ejercen la función de contrapesos. Pero una vez el poder se descentraliza es probable que los dirigentes se enfrenten a menos barreras políticas.

Es común ver a un único partido ostentar el poder durante años o incluso décadas en ciudades o pequeños países. Pero en países democráticos relativamente grandes, es mucho más difícil observar ésta tendencia. Yo lo atribuiría a dos razones principales (¿A alguien se le ocurre alguna más?). La primera, y creo que la principal, es que las comunidades políticas pequeñas suelen ser menos diversas y tienden a converger hacia una visión semejante del mundo. La segunda tiene que ver con el párrafo anterior. Cabe la posibilidad de que, al enfrentarse a menos contrapesos, los políticos locales tengan más facilidades para dirigir recursos hacia fines electorales, rent-seeking, etc.

Existe la idea de que cuando el poder se encuentra descentralizado, es mucho más fácil para el ciudadano medio fiscalizar al político de turno por pura proximidad física. Puede que así sea. No obstante, me da la impresión de que parte de este argumento queda obsoleto con los avances en las tecnologías de la información y la comunicación. Hoy en día, parece mucho más fácil fiscalizar a Donald Trump que al gobernador del Estado de Nebraska, por poner un ejemplo. Sí, si Nebraska fuese independiente Pete Rickets recibiría mayor atención de sus ciudadanos. Aún así, dudo que llegase a una cuarta parte de la presión que recibe el Presidente de los EEUU. Todos conocemos a Merkel y Macron, pero por más que se hable de los países nórdicos estoy seguro de que no soy el único que no tiene ni idea de cómo se llaman sus gobernantes.

Sin embargo, no todo acaba aquí. Gancia, Ponzetto y Ventura:

Why did the first wave of globalisation lead to political concentration and conflict? Why did the second wave of globalisation lead instead to political fragmentation, resolved in a more peaceful way? To answer these questions, in a new paper we develop a model to study the interaction between globalisation and political structure (Gancia et al. 2017). A key premise of our theory is that borders hamper trade and globalisation make borders more costly. We show that political structure adapts to expanding trade opportunities in a non-monotonic way. In early stages, borders are removed by increasing the size of countries. In later stages, the cost of borders is removed by creating economic unions, and this leads to a reduction in the size of countries. Moreover, while the incentive to conquer markets through aggression increases with globalisation, international economic unions remove this incentive, thereby paving the way to the rule of diplomacy.

Since the size of markets grows rapidly while political borders tend to change slowly, it suggests that globalisation is likely to put more pressure on the world’s political structure. Designing political institutions that can optimally adapt may become one of the major challenges faced by modern societies.

Y

At early stages of globalisation, the gains from trade are small and the benefit of creating an economic union does not justify the loss of economies of scope. Thus, a single-level governance structure is optimal. As globalisation proceeds, localities remove borders by increasing the size of countries. The number of countries declines and the mismatch between each locality’s ideal and actual provision of public services grows. Eventually, this mismatch is large enough to justify a move to a two-level governance structure. The world political structure shifts from a few large countries to many small countries within a world economic union. The two-level structure is more expensive, but it is nonetheless desirable because it facilitates trade and improves preference-matching in the provision of public services.

Es decir, en sus fases avanzadas, la globalización disminuye los costes asociados a la secesión de un territorio y permite acomodar las preferencias locales de manera más eficaz. Si hay una ventaja derivada de la fragmentación, ésta parece ser una de las más importantes. Los políticos locales conocen mejor las preferencias de sus ciudadanos y serán más eficaces a la hora de satisfacer sus demandas. Aunque en general pueda ser positivo no perdamos de vista que, en ocasiones, las circunstancias demandan soluciones que nada tienen que ver con la voluntad popular. Hay un argumento que me parece todavía más sólido. Y es que los ciudadanos que viven en un mismo territorio conocen mejor sus necesidades que los que no. Yo puedo tener una idea de lo que necesita Barcelona, pero no me preguntes por Cádiz porque no te sabré decir absolutamente nada.

El argumento de Gancia, Ponzetto y Ventura es realmente convincente. Más aún si los estados, después de lograr la secesión, mantienen una actitud abierta hacia la globalización. Parece que si se hace bien, la descentralización podría traer cosas muy positivas (de hecho ya las ha traído!). Sospecho que este argumento es más relevante todavía en lugares donde los derechos económicos y civiles de los ciudadanos no están bien protegidos y en países que cuentan con grandes territorios.

No obstante, Daniel Treisman también ha hecho contribuciones relacionadas con la descentralización política. Otras lógicas pueden estar relacionadas con la fragmentación política. Más descentralización puede generar problemas a la hora de lograr recaudaciones fiscales, aunque esto no siempre tenga por qué ser negativo, en ocasiones lo podría ser. Además, más descentralización no tiene por qué generar mayores niveles de libertad. Un claro ejemplo lo encontramos en los estados del sur de EEUU, los cuáles mantenían la esclavitud y diferentes sistemas de segregación.

Su postura es que la descentralización puede ser buena o mala. Pero es extremadamente complicado anticipar si los efectos positivos dominarán o no. Además, advierte de que no hay una base sólida ni en la teoría ni en la evidencia empírica para esperar que la descentralización política tenga efectos universalmente positivos. No quiere decir que la descentralización política sea necesariamente mala. Todo depende del punto de partida. Si uno parte de un sistema centralizado tremendamente disfuncional probablemente exista un argumento para avanzar hacia un sistema más descentralizado. Pero si éste funciona bien lo más probable es que la descentralización no traiga grandes beneficios e incluso puede generar pérdidas.

Por tanto, no parece existir un consenso sobre si la descentralización política genera mejores resultados o no. A mi entender, la posición más coherente es mantenerse relativamente agnóstico y analizar uno por uno cada uno de los cases en vez de posicionarse siempre a favor, o en contra, de la descentralización.

Los estados centralizados tuvieron un papel muy importante en la promoción del crecimiento económico y en la expansión de gran parte de las libertades de las que disfrutamos hoy en día. Aunque, como bien señalaban Gancia, Ponzetto y Ventura, durante la segunda oleada de la globalización ha prevalecido otra lógica. Según Mark Koyama, aquí tenéis algunos de los canales mediante los que se logró:

3.1. Protection from external predation

3.2. States and markets as complements

Another mechanism is the complementarity between market performance and state capacity. Well functioning markets are not only required for allocative economic efficiency, they also provide the necessary conditions for sustained economic growth over time. But markets cannot operate in an institutional vacuum. They require property rights that are well defined and enforced and rely on governance institutions that can arbitrate claims and disputes.

Governance institutions do not have to be provided by a state—that is by an organization that claims a monopoly on the legitimate use of force within a circumscribed territory. Historically there are many instances of market actors developing their own governance mechanisms in the absence of state enforcement through private-order arrangements (Greif, 1989, 2006; Clay, 1997; Clay and Wright, 2005; Leeson, 2014; Stringham, 2015). A considerable volume of trade took place in the middle ages without relying on enforcement by any single political authority. The state is certainly not required for either impersonal trade or for the emergence of rules of behavior and the rule of law. What the historical record suggests, however, is that during the relevant centuries prior to the industrial revolution, commerce and trade came increasingly under the purview of the public-order institutions.26 An account of the onset of modern economic growth in western Europe cannot therefore abstract away from the greater role played by public order institutions during this time period.

The rise of more powerful states led to greater market integration. Economic historians have long pointed out that markets in medieval and early modern Europe were fragmented (Heckscher, 1955; Epstein, 2000). Transport costs were high, particularly for overland transport: it was rarely economical to move bulky goods like grain far by road as the price would double every 250 miles (Masschaele, 1993). But these barriers were not only technological; they were also institutional. Internal trade barriers and tolls ensured that transactions costs were high and were responsible for impeding trade in all European countries (Dincecco, 2010).

Various studies have attempted to quantify the extent of market integration in early modern Europe (Shiue and Keller, 2007; Bateman, 2011; Chilosi et al., 2013; Bernhofen et al., 2016). This research shows that, in general, markets only became fully integrated in the nineteenth century. But there was a movement towards greater integration in the early modern period driven by a number of factors, including improved road networks, canals, and a decline in the violence associated with warfare after the seventeenth century. Among the most important factors was the role played by powerful states like France and Prussia in suppressing the attempts by local elites to extract rents.

3.3. A more effective bureaucracy

What, then, is the connection linking a functional bureaucracy to economic growth? Several points deserve emphasis. The first is that, whatever the range of services a state is expected to provide, it is imperative that it provide those services effectively.31 The quality of a bureaucracy matters even if the scope of state activty is tightly constrained. Second, states that possess an effective administrative machinery are better able to overcome vested interests and resist rent-seeking by losers. Research by Acemoglu and Robinson (2000) and Coşgel et al. (2012) among others has shown that attempts by potential losers to block reforms or innovations have played an important role in impeding economic growth. A third important channel concerns the ability to raise taxes in a way that does not generate large deadweight losses. States with high fiscal capacity can raise revenue in ways that do not create large distortions in relative prices (Lindert, 2004).

3.4. General rules and rule of law

State capacity, as we have noted, need not promote economic growth. States with high capacity can pursue destructive economic policies. Rather the point is that state capacity can be beneficial for growth when the state is constrained by law. One of the reasons for this is that high capacity states have the ability to enforce general rules. This ability is closely linked to what social scientists typically mean by rule of law.

Low capacity states are unable to implement or enforce general rules. While high capacity states do not necessarily enforce general rules, the historical record suggests that as rulers invested in capacity, they were often confronted with strong incentives to make their rules more general. This was often simply because the costs of applying centralized fiscal and administrative rules to heterogenous populations were lowered when those rules and institutions were made more general.

3.5. Nation-building

Early modern states resembled stationary bandits to use Olson’s memorable phrase (McGuire and Olson, 1996). They taxed and they made war. And they relied on popular acquiescence rather than popular support. An important achievement of the most successful modern states after 1850 is that taxation came gradually to rest on quasi-voluntary compliance. This achievement was based on the perception that modern states were legitimate in the eyes of a majority of their populations. The legitimacy of a state depends on the beliefs of individuals. Scheve and Stasavage (2012) argue that mobilization for war played a crucial role in the establishment of inheritance taxes because warfare generated both a need for revenue, and a sense that the rich should contribute financially, if others were contributing through military service. Legitimacy requires an ideology. But individuals have to be able to coordinate on and share this ideology. This requires publicizing the aims and purposes of the state. Or it can involve hijacking existing legitimating values such as nationalism or religion. Nationalism has been a particularly effective ideology around which modern states have coalesced (Gellner, 1983; Anderson, 1991; Hobsbawm, 1991).

Development economists have pointed out that heterogenous preferences—often a synonym for the absence of a common national identity—are generally associated with lower public good provision, greater risk of civil war, and lower incomes (Easterly and Levine, 1997; Alesina et al., 1999, 2003; Arbatli et al., 2015). In contrast, more homogenous preferences lower the costs of public good provision and make it easier for individuals to coordinate on collective decisions (Buchanan and Tullock, 1962, pp. 113– 116). These arguments are extremely relevant for economic historians.36

This suggests that the emergence of effective states is predicated on a degree of cultural, linguistic, and ethnic homogeneity. State building had to be accompanied by nation-building. The most successful modern states like Britain and France developed as nation states while larger multi-ethnic states like the Habsburg, Ottoman and Tzarist empires proved less successful and eventually disintegrated. But cultural, linguistic, and to an extent ethnic homogeneity are themselves variables that can be shaped by policymakers.37 And, with this in mind, a growing literature investigates the interaction between state capacity and national identity.

Alesina and Reich (2015) develop a model to study the conditions under which a ruler or ruling elite will invest in homogenizing the preference of the population. They argue that the threat of democratization provided an important inspiration for rulers to instill common national preferences. The model they build allows for several possibilities including that where rulers do not instill national preferences but prefer to ‘divide and rule’, the common strategy adopted by European rulers in their colonies.

Nation-building policies such as the introduction of compulsory education require a certain level of state capacity. Therefore, attempts at nation-building will be limited or absent in states that lack capacity. Rulers possessing lower state capacity will be more likely to rely on methods based on the principle of divide and rule than will rulers with higher state capacity.

3.6. Fiscal Capacity and National Identity in Ancien Regime France

Alexis De Tocqueville in The Old Regime and the French Revolution argued that many of the democratic and constitutional reforms of the Revolution were made possible by the policies of Bourbon monarchs during the previous century, policies which undermined the institutions of the feudal regime. The monarchy was able to increase its fiscal and legal capacity during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (Root, 1987; Kwass, 2000; Johnson and Koyama, 2014b). Johnson (2015) argues that one unintended consequence of the extension of the state capacity of the monarchy was that the new institutions introduced replaced and made obsolete pre-existing feudal institutions. This, in turn, shifted the attention of both nobles and non- nobles away from local interests and towards the business of reforming national institutions.

Cities inside the CGF affiliated more with national than local institutions in 1789 and were also richer in 1817–21. Furthermore, the source of this income difference can be traced to the willingness of these regions to use formal financial institutions and to contribute towards public goods. In the case of France, the development of fiscal capacity by the absolute monarchy was a necessary step towards generating support in the general population for broader-based and more inclusive institutions which were conducive to stable economic growth.

Taken together, this work provides evidence that high capacity states in Europe contributed to economic development through a range of channels: they made economies more robust to negative shocks such as warfare, helped to integrate domestic markets and laid the foundations for relatively impartial bureaucracies and the rule of law. Furthermore, as part of a self-reinforcing process, state-building itself helped previously heterogeneous population to coalesce around common goals such as the provision of more general rules.

5. Concluding comments

As we have noted, the link between state capacity and economic growth that we observe historically is a contingent one. The origins of modern economic growth are to be found in the expansion of market exchange and trade that gave rise to a more sophisticated and complex division of labor that rewarded innovation and to the cultural and potentially non-economic factors that helped spur innovation (Howes, 2016; McCloskey, 2016; Mokyr, 2016). The importance of the rise of high capacity states to this story is that these states helped to provide the institutional conditions that either enabled growth and innovation to take place or at least prevented their destruction through warfare or rent-seeking.

The emergence of sustained economic growth in the nineteenth century was associated with strong but limited states. Twentieth century ambitions to use state power to remold societies either ended in failure or were at least partially reversed. We have focused on the recent literature linking the rise of the modern state to positive economic outcomes, but do not want to give the impression that we are neglecting how easy it is for governments to destroy economies (e.g., Shleifer and Vishny, 1998; Easterly, 2001). Bringing together insights from the state capacity literature with the political economy literature on government failures is a fruitful avenue for future research. We have also left for further work, the relationship between the rise of modern states and investments in public health and education from late nineteenth century onwards, two other important channels that link state capacity to long-run economic success. Finally, we suggest that the long-run relationship between culture, social capital, identity, and state capacity has only just begun to have been studied and awaits much future research.

Pero es que además, parece ser que los estados modernos también jugaron un gran papel en la expansión de la libertad religiosa:

With my colleague at George Mason University, the historian Noel Johnson, I recently completed the book Persecution and Toleration (2017), in which we show that ideas were not enough to realise religious freedom. Crucially, it took political and institutional changes – specifically, the growth and strengthening of the ability of states to create and enforce rules – to make religious freedom in the West possible and appealing. It wasn’t the ideas of Bayle or Spinoza or Locke driving the rise of state power, it was the need to raise resources for governing and war. For the rising fiscal-military state, religious uniformity and persecution simply became too expensive and inefficient.

A partnership between church and state developed, a partnership with important consequences for religious freedom in the premodern world. In return for granting rulers political legitimacy, religious authorities could require secular rulers to enforce religious conformity. The bargain appealed to secular rulers too, as they believed that religious competition generated political instability.

Religious conformity, and thus the persecution of religious dissent, came to be tantamount to the maintenance of political order. In such a world, religious freedom was inconceivable.

Religious freedom, however, was simply not tenable in the first part of the 16th century. This was not simply due to dogmatism. People in the 18th century were no smarter or more able to think through arguments in favour of toleration than people in the 16th century. What was different was that religion played a greater role in sustaining the 16th-century political order.

So what changed? Why did religious freedom come to the West? Why did Locke and Voltaire become heroes of religious freedom, but not Castellio? The answer lies in fundamental institutional changes that took place in European states between 1500 and 1800.

The first change was the transformation in the scale of European states. In the late Middle Ages, medieval rulers began to invest in building administrative capacity and to raise taxes more regularly. The most dramatic developments, however, occurred after 1500, as a result of developments in military technology that historians label the Military Revolution. This continent-wide arms race, brought on by the development of gunpowder, forced rulers to invest in greater fiscal and administrative capacity.

For states with bureaucracies and professional tax collectors, it was simply less costly to treat everyone equally

However, the long-run impact of these changes undermined religion as a tool of political legitimation, and worked to replace the old reliance on identity rules with more general laws. The new modern states that emerged in Europe after 1600 subordinated all alternative sources of power – the nobility and the church – to one sovereign authority. Religious legitimation became less important as a source of political legitimacy, and the grand bargain between church and state weakened. As they relied less on religious authority, states grew less inclined to value enforcing religious conformity.

The process of centralisation and bureaucratisation brought other important consequences. It meant that identity rules had to be abandoned. In their place, states instituted more general rules. Guilds lost their monopoly privileges. Legal systems became increasingly standardised; taxes more regularised. For states with bureaucracies and professional tax collectors, it was simply less costly to treat everyone equally. Discriminatory rules against Catholics, Protestants or Jews either became redundant over time or were eventually done away with. Though gradual and fitful, this levelling process proved inexorable and, in the long-run, irreversible.

The establishment of relatively powerful and ‘secular’ states that no longer required religious legitimation shifted the political equilibrium in favour of religious freedom and dismantled the old system of identity rules. Once this institutional change had taken place, elite opinion shifted in favour of religious freedom.

Economic changes complemented the rise of religious freedom, most notably the onset of modern economic growth. As in the Jewish example, greater freedom allowed religious minorities to flourish. French Protestants expelled by Louis XIV brought with them advanced skills and industrial expertise to England, the Netherlands and Prussia. In Industrial Revolution Britain, Quakers and other religious dissenters were overrepresented among businessmen, entrepreneurs and innovators.

The indirect consequences of moving from identity rules to general rules were even more important. Identity rules had limited the scope of trade and the division of labour. As these identity rules were removed – as guilds lost authority, and cities and lords lost their ability to charge internal tariffs – trade and commerce expanded.

The growth of trade, in turn, reinforced the trend towards liberalism. Trade, as Enlightenment thinkers such as Montesquieu argued, encouraged individuals to see the world through the positive-sum lens of mutual beneficial interaction rather than through the zero-sum lens of conflict. Religious freedom began to seem less like a recipe for social disorder and civil war, and more like a win-win proposition.

What implications does our argument have for the modern world? Most important perhaps is the need to recognise that liberal ideas were not necessarily responsible for the emergence of liberal societies. Instead, the rise of a new type of political organisation, the modern state, led, for its own reasons, to rulers enforcing general rules of behaviour – rules incompatible with religious discrimination.

Finally, the history of how religious freedom came to be is a reminder that commitment to liberal values alone is not enough for liberalism to flourish. It requires a suitable political and economic foundation. As the experience of 1930s Germany suggests, religious persecution can quickly re-emerge. We cannot rely on liberal ideas alone to be effective. If we value religious freedom, and other achievements of liberalism, we must look to the vitality of their institutional foundations.

Cabe recordar, que los estados modernos también fueron protagonistas de las mayores atrocidades que ha conocido el mundo. Pero como bien señala el texto, estar comprometido con los valores liberales no es suficiente para que el liberalismo florezca. Hay que prestar atención a las bases institucionales que permitieron su crecimiento. Y, en muchos casos, los logros del liberalismo no se han conseguido a través de la “voluntariedad”, ojalá fuera así de sencillo.

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