Nationalist violence is typically ignited as a result of exclusion and discrimination against a nation. When a state’s policies threaten a nation’s future livelihood and pursuit of autonomy, they are often met with violence because the nation fears for its survival. Though the literature has cemented exclusionary and discriminatory policies’ effect on the mobilization of nationalist violence, there is little research on how different exclusionary and discriminatory policies affect the level of violence perpetrated in resulting secessionist conflicts. To address this gap, this study asks, how does the presence of exclusionary nationalism affect the level of violence perpetrated by nationalist resistance movements in secessionist conflicts? This study employs a method of difference comparative case study with the South Ossetian conflict and Transnistrian conflict. The total level of violence perpetrated by the nationalist resistance movements is qualitatively measured through combat deaths, presence of war crimes, and presence of sexual violence using data from NGO reports, the UCDP database, and SVAC database. This study finds that the presence of both political exclusion and culturally suppressing policies led to a higher level of violence perpetrated by the nationalist resistance movements in the resulting secessionist conflicts. These findings contribute to an expansive field of research on nationalism, nationalist conflict, and secession by providing deeper analysis on the relationship between policies implemented and the resulting violence.


Krain, Matthew


Global and International Studies


International Relations


Secession, Nationalism, Nation, Violence, de facto states, political exclusion, cultural discrimination, primordialism, ethnosymbolism

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2021 Shane M. Wallace