The purpose of this article is to identify the conditions that set the stage for the secessionist movements within the Soviet Union. Using the statistical procedures of discriminant and regression analysis, the following thesis is tested: Secessionist movements are undertaken for the reason of emancipation from economic exploitation, for the purpose of maintaining or preserving an endangered culture, or for the purpose of achieving redress from some form of political grievance. An evaluation of the parameters produced by estimating linear regression models indicates that high levels of social and economic development together with concentrated populations are the structural factors that provide the contextual environments most conducive to early demands for sovereignty. Other factors that are related to separatism are pervasive international ties, Christian traditions, and relatively small populations and territory. The analysis serves to challenge widely held assumptions that a reaction against Russian settlement in minority enclaves, state-sponsored efforts at Russification, and relative deprivation were prime motivators behind secessionist activity.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/vicki_hesli/55/