Beyond independence, the consequences of such a vote are various and far-reaching: social divisions, economic uncertainty, the role in partnerships and alliances, the creation of legal and political precedents, and philosophically, the debate between legality and legitimacy of the results. In the build-up to the Scottish referendum on independence, the Modern Security Consulting Group MOSECON GmbH and partner d|part hosted on September 15, 2014, the MOSECON Luncheon #05 to discuss the implications of this vote. We shared the experiences of regions with autonomous and independent ambitions – Québec, Catalonia, Kurdistan among others – and how these experiences can help us better understand the stakes of the referendum, as well as grasp the consequences of Scotland's choice in Europe and for other regions seeking independence around the world. You can watch the full video below.

Speakers:

  • Jan Eichhorn, Research Director d|part, Chancellor's Fellow, University of Edinburgh Dr Jan Eichhorn is d|part’s Director of Research and one of its partners. He coordinates the development of innovative research proposals in cooperation with external partners from academia and practitioner groups. His research is focussed mainly on political participation and culture, often comparing different European countries. In the context of the Scottish referendum on independence Jan coordinates projects funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council. In these projects the attitudes of the Scottish population are analysed based on representative social surveys. To make research relevant to practice, he has also been advising governments and media in participation questions and has run events.
  • John MacInnes, Research Areas: National Identity in Scotland and Catalonia, University of Edinburgh John MacInnes is Professor of Sociology at Edinburgh University and for many years was an Honorary Fellow at the Centre d'Estudis Demogràfics at Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. Catalonia and Scotland are frequently compared: They both enjoy substantial legislative, executive and administrative autonomy within their states, have been governed by successful nationalist parties who seek independence from their states, have support for independence that varies between one third and one half of the electorate, have their own mass media, and many less important similarities. However they could hardly be more different. The different origins and trajectories of their respective nationalisms explain why Westminster is relaxed about the prospect of Scottish secession, while Madrid has declared any referendum illegal, and some more excitable deputies have spoken of putting tanks on the streets.
  • Maxime Laporte, Président Société Saint Jean-Baptiste, Québec Actively involved in Québec politics for many years, Maxime Laporte became the youngest president in the history of Québec's oldest pro-independence organisation, the Société St-Jean-Baptiste (SSJB) in 2014. A lawyer by trade, he is also very involved with Québec civil society organisations that support charity work and the pro-independence movement.
  • Birgit Ammann, Professor for Political Sciences at FH Potsdam Prof. Dr. Birgit Ammann teaches Political Sciences at the Potsdam University of Applied Sciences also works at the European Center for Kurdish Studies. She studied Social Sciences in Munich, Boston and Berlin and has published and held numerous articles and presentations on different Kurdish topics since the eighties.
  • Martí Estruch Axmacher, International Press Officer, Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia
  • Martí Estruch Axmacher is a journalist and director of the International Program of Communication and Public Relations Eugeni Xammar of the Catalan Government. Previously he had been the Head of the Government Delegation to Germany (2008-2011), where he explained the Catalan reality to the German media, among other functions. He has worked as a journalist for several Catalan media as well as Press Officer for various institutions.
Following the summer break, the MOSECON Luncheon returned on September 15 with a discussion on the topic of the Scottish referendum on independence, held on September 18. For this occasion, our panellists were invited to discuss the situation in Scotland, Catalonia, Québec and Kurdistan and provide insight based on their own experiences and their perception of the Scottish event. You can read the recap here. Watch the full event below.  

Past Luncheon

In our globalized world, the borders have become much thinner. Conflicts spill over, creating massive flows of refugees, while the consolidation of common economic and governmental zones generate a currant of work-based migration between the states affiliated to that zone. Paradoxically, more openness also reignited protectionist attitudes, a trend very much embodied by the increasingly popular support for far-right, nationalist parties – whose current popularity is unmatched since the Second World War – while bringing focus on migrants as a source of insecurity. The recent implementation of the EUROSUR program and the “fear” of a flooding of Bulgarian and Rumanian workers – especially in the United Kingdom and Germany – after restrictions to the job market access to the EU were lifted on January 1, further added to the insecurity discourse associated with migration.
But we are also confronted with the humanity of the situation when refugees tragically die trying to reach Lampedusa, become enslaved or condemned to a life in refugee camps. These stories are enhancing the volatility of the debate between the fear of others and the compassion for others in need. But is migration truly a source of insecurity? Does it add to economic uncertainty, embody potential terrorism or diminish the value of a society? Are refugee camps a source of crime? Is opening borders more dangerous than closing them?
On March 19th, two months before the elections of the European Parliament, the speakers at the fourth MOSECON Luncheon discussed the delicate issue of migration and (in-)security, in an attempt to determine if migrants and refugees truly pose a threat to security.
You can listen to the discussion here or watch the full video below.

Speakers:

  • Oliver Koppel (PhD), Senior Economist, IW Köln (Cologne Institute for Economic Research) joined the Cologne Institute for Economic Research in 2005 and is currently working in the Department "Human Capital and Innovation". He studied Economics at the Universities of Bonn, Cologne and Mannheim and has written numerous reports on Innovation, Patents, Research and Development, S+E, Shortage of Skilled Workers and Migration and Brain Gain.
  • Fidelis Etah Ewane (PhD) is a geopolitical and development analyst based in Germany. He holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Freiburg and his regional expertise is sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. He is presently a senior analyst with wikistrat Inc. - a crowdsourced consulting firm and had previously served as an electoral officer with the United Nations and outreach consultant for diaspora mapping with the International Organisation in Germany. He is the author of Regional Integration and Cooperation in Central Africa: From State-Centric Perspective to Multi-Level Governance (Verlag Dr. Kovac), which finds innovative approaches to the challenges of regional integration for poverty reduction paged on a model of regional integration in Africa and its relevance for inclusive/ equitable growth and development.
  • Axel Benjamin Herzberg studied law in Germany (Universities of Passau, Munich and Freiburg; First State Exam, Freiburg, 2006), Belgium (Université Libre de Bruxelles), and Switzerland (University of Geneva/HEI), where he also held a position as Research and Teaching Assistant at the University of Basel School of Law in 2006-08. After completing the second state exam in law in Berlin in 2010, Mr Herzberg assumed a position as Deputy Counsel with the Secretariat of the ICC International Court of Arbitration in Paris, France, handling some 80+ international business disputes. In 2011, Mr Herzberg returned to Berlin where he was admitted to the bar and resumed work as an associate for Baker & McKenzie’s litigation & arbitration group. Mr Herzberg had already been with Baker & McKenzie in 2008-2010 during his legal traineeship. Following a short stint with a local firm in 2013, as of January 2014, Axel Benjamin Herzberg launched his own firm, HERZBERG LEGAL, in Berlin. Mr Herzberg advises and represents corporate, institutional and individual clients in complex matters pertaining to German, European and international law. Among his specialisations is the law of business immigration and international hirings.
If you'd like to read more on the topics we discussed, please refer to our Recap or watch the full event below: