I want to break free

A practical guide to making a new country

By Matt Qvortrup

I want to break free
Paperback +
  • Price: £12.99
  • ISBN: 9781526166050
  • Publish Date: Nov 2022
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    eBook -
  • Price: £12.99
  • ISBN: 9781526166043
  • Publish Date: Nov 2022
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Book Information

    • Format: eBook
    • ISBN: 978-1-5261-6604-3
    • Published Date: November 2022


    Are you fed up with the divided and unequal society or suffocating laws and regulations of the country where you live? Ever dreamed of starting your own country or just want to understand how that happens? In this refreshing new book, Matt Qvortrup provides a step-by-step guide to forming an independent country, from organising a referendum and winning it, to receiving official international recognition, establishing a currency and even entering the Eurovision song contest.

    The book delves into the legal, economic and political problems of creating new states, using historical examples and anecdotes from all over the world to illustrate the obstacles to these campaigns. Qvortrup recounts his globetrotting experiences as an expert consultant on referendums to give a no-nonsense explanation of the many hurdles and barriers, as well as the opportunities for those who want to break free.


    'I want to break free is the unapologetic book of political independence movements, by an advisor who has both global, ground-level political experience and encyclopaedic historic knowledge. Would-be states need this book as much as existing states in danger of runaway nations. If you are neither of these, you will simply find this book immeasurably informative and entertaining.'
    Dahlia Scheindlin, PhD., international political consultant and foreign affairs analyst

    'Matt Qvortrup's concise book provides an expert guide to the practical issues of making a country formally independent, self-governing and part of the community of democratic nation-states. Myths are challenged, and historic and contemporary examples drawn from, which are relevant to how we make sense of independence in the age of interindependence. Essential reading for anyone with an interest in self-government in Scotland, Catalonia and elsewhere.'
    Gerry Hassan, Professor of Social Change, Glasgow Caledonian University and author of Scotland Rising: The Case for Independence

    'Full of insight and rich detail, Matt Qvortrup's important new book provides an engaged and wonderfully engaging study of the passions and politics of state making.'
    Professor Alastair Bonnett, author of Off The Map and Beyond The Map

    This book is a pearl within the study of secessionism that could only be written by someone knowing both the realpolitik of state-making and the depths of the multiple academic debates on this topic.'
    Marc Sanjaume-Calvet, Regional & Federal Studies

    A good, well-written, practical survey of much of the law, politics, & economics of secession which should be informative to secessionists and counter-secessionists both.'
    Mark McGeoghegan, doctoral researcher at the University of Glasgow

    Overall, this book is refreshing and excellent, making it easy to recommend. It renders visible and accessible to a wider audience things that would be easily recognisable to specialists. For those of us outside of the small circles of the Scottish and British insider political classes, looking in from diverse standpoints, I want to break free clearly explains what is possible and, in general terms, how. It doesn't play down how hard it is, and it doesn't dumb down nor back down from the difficult issues. In thinking about 'the now' and the 'not yet' in Scotland, such a pragmatic contribution is very welcome.'
    Hannah Graham, Bella Caledonia

    How does a would-be nation become a legitimate, internationally recognized state? This short, accessible book is framed as a step-by-step guide to nation-building. In it, Matt Qvortrup paints secessionism as a very public divorce; or, at least, a trial separation.'
    Kerryn Baker, Australian National University


    1 A brief history of self-determination and the making of new states
    2 Start me up: how to establish a movement and win support
    3 What's law got to do with it? The legal side of creating a new state
    4 The power and the passion: the international politics of creating a new state
    5 Constitution building: rebuilding the ship at sea
    6 Shake your money maker: the economics of becoming a new country
    Conclusions: bringing it all back home


    Matt Qvortrup is Professor of Political Science at Coventry University

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