About The Calhoun Institute for the Study of Secession, Devolution and Concurrent Majority Governance

The intent of this project is to study alternative methods of democratic governance under the premise that “small is beautiful” and review the historical trends that have resulted in the evolution of national sovereignty into larger collective bodies that essentially redefine the notion of nationhood and peoplehood.

The Calhoun Institute was formed in 2016 to:

… link the political legacy and thoughts of John C. Calhoun to contemporary problems, issues and discussions of political theory, specifically as these relate to the southern tradition and contemporary problems/solutions.

Toward that end we encourage, support and highlight scholarly works that address issues of constitutional lawfederalismstates’ rightsculture and good governance.

The notion of devolving existing political entities into smaller chunks is an idea that continues to percolate.

Minorities, organic nations and historical communities across the world continue to ask what and where they belong in larger, more detached political organizations.  Human population continues to expand exponentially.   The human population continues to expand exponentially and with it, our governments become much less representative, the current systems do not scale well.

Secession and devolution as a legitimate recourse for people across the globe that seek more responsive democratic representation should be discussed as viable and legitimate options.  Scottish independence nearly became a reality. BREXIT did occur, there have been quasi-serious discussions of CALEXIT and there is currently a ballot proposition to devolve California into three separate states.  In Europe, there are currently twenty-one active and real secession or devolution movements.

The concept, tried twice on the American continent and threaten on one other occasion, was not debunked in 1861-1865.  It remains a viable alternative to governments that have grown too large to effectively represent diverse interests. Secession and devolution must remain relevant in political conversations and solutions.

The goal of this project is to:

  • Examine the historical concept of nationhood and peoplehood as it has evolved.
  • Examine trends toward greater consolidation of power and its effect on the voice of the individual
  • Examine the cost to diversity and community exacted by the collectivization of government into larger, more remote entities.
  • Explore viable ways and means to enable peaceful secession and devolution for minority people groups.
  • Explore ways and means to enable the concept of the Concurrent Majority in large nations comprised of disparate groups.
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