Secession is the creation of a new independent state out of an existing state. This key volume examines the political, social and legal processes of the practice of secession. Following an analysis of secessionist movements and their role in attempts at secession, eight case studies are explored to illustrate peaceful, violent, sequential and recursive secessions. This is followed by a look at the theoretical approaches and a discussion that focuses on the economic causes. Normative theories of secession are discussed as well as the status of secession in legal theory and practice. The book systematizes our present knowledge of secessions in an accessible way to readers not familiar with the phenomenon and its consequences. It is ideal as a supplementary text to courses on contemporary political and social movements, applied ethics and political philosophy, international relations and international law, state sovereignty and state formation.