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The independence movements around the world

Protesters hold signs reading 'Freedom for the two Jordis' during a march to protest against the National Court's decision to imprison civil society leaders, in Barcelona, Spain. Photo: Emilio Morenatti / AP

Catalonia's push for independence from Spain seized headlines this month, capturing international attention as a potentially successful separatist push within the relatively stable confines of Western Europe. Catalonia's secession would raise a whole host of questions for a range of international bodies — most notably, the European Union — that they'd prefer to ignore.

Why it matters: There are separatist movements all around the globe — even in most U.S. states — but the world tends to focus on those that have the potential to upend our understanding of the world and reshape geopolitics as we know it.